Hertha Berlin are interested in signing Bernd Leno this summer, but they’d need the Arsenal goalkeeper to take a pay cut first.

Arsenal's German goalkeeper Bernd Leno stands on the pitch during the English Premier League football match between Aston Villa and Arsenal at Villa Park in Birmingham, central England, on March 19, 2022. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Arsenal’s German goalkeeper Bernd Leno stands on the pitch during the English Premier League football match between Aston Villa and Arsenal at Villa Park in Birmingham, central England, on March 19, 2022. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

German outlet Bild report that Hertha BSC are exploring the option of signing Arsenal’s Bernd Leno, and the goalkeeper is willing to leave. But the Bundesliga side would need Leno to take a substantial pay cut in order for them to afford him.

There’s also the question of whether Leno would want to join Hertha in their current state, at this point in his career.

After finishing 16th in the Bundesliga, the German club had to win a relegation play-off just to remain in the top division ahead of next season. Leno is 30 years old, so he’s unlikely to be looking for a long-term rebuild project to join.

But we can’t rule anything out at this early stage. It still seems likely Leno is set to leave Arsenal this summer, so we’ll have to see what bids come in for him.

Leno recently jokingly denied that he’d already said his goodbyes to his Arsenal teammates. But with Aaron Ramsdale as number one and Matt Turner arriving, a departure probably just depends on the right team making an offer.

Portuguese sources and the English tabloids have suggested that Benfica are also interested in a move for Bernd Leno this summer, but they’re quibbling over Arsenal’s £8.5m valuation for the goalkeeper.

Arsenal's German goalkeeper Bernd Leno (R) punches the ball during the English Premier League football match between Aston Villa and Arsenal at Villa Park in Birmingham, central England, on March 19, 2022. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Arsenal’s German goalkeeper Bernd Leno (R) punches the ball during the English Premier League football match between Aston Villa and Arsenal at Villa Park in Birmingham, central England, on March 19, 2022. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Leno hasn’t had many chances to impress in recent months, but he did nothing to hurt his reputation by coming into the Arsenal side and keeping a clean sheet against Aston Villa in March.

There should be plenty of interest in the goalkeeper if Benfica aren’t willing to pay, whether that’s from Hertha BSC or others.

Leno had been linked to former club Bayer Leverkusen and there were repeated reports of interest from Newcastle United earlier this year. Yet he played down that talk in an April interview with Goal.

“Of course, there are always approaches,” Leno admitted. “But, it’s about playing here (at Arsenal). That’s my first ambition. If the club plans otherwise, they have to approach me. Of course, my agency and I are keeping an eye on the situation.

“I read that (talk of interest from Bayer Leverkusen) too, but I don’t know anything about it.

“They also said I would definitely want to return to my home country, but that’s not true. As I said, we feel completely at home here, even if things aren’t going so well for me at the moment.”

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