Roger Schmidt wants his club Benfica to sign Bernd Leno this summer, but Arsenal’s asking price poses a problem for the Portuguese giants.
According to Correio da Manha, relayed by Sport Witness, Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno is a target for Benfica this summer, with the German expected to be cleared to leave if a reasonable offer arrives. The Gunners have set a claim of €10m. price, which could be a problem for the Portuguese side.
Benfica have played a key role in the development of many top players, currently plying their trade in Europe’s top five leagues. The Portuguese club has a specific business model for importing unpolished diamonds and reselling them for a profit when interest is high.
While clubs like Benfica rely heavily on player development, they very rarely venture out to buy established players in their prime. However, the Portuguese side want such a deal this summer with current boss Roger Schmidt wanting Bernd Leno.
The German boss had been working with his compatriot at Bayer Leverkusen for almost three years. He’s ready to convince Benfica to sign the keeper as the Portuguese side aren’t entirely ready to spend big on a keeper. But Arsenal’s €10m valuation is proving to be a problem.
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Leno has played second fiddle to Aaron Ramsdale’s summer arrival this season, making just eight appearances in all competitions. His lack of playing time could also see him not selected in Germany’s World Cup squad, although he might still have time to redeem himself.
Having rejected the prospect of joining Newcastle United, Leno could be ready to leave England and join a club abroad. It certainly puts Benfica in a hopeful position, although there may be offers from other teams. There are also reports linking Leno with a return to Bayer Leverkusen which could benefit the keeper with his chances to play for the national team.
Arsenal, for their part, are open to a sale, having already signed Matt Turner in January. But the Gunners are unwilling to accept a lower fee for the goalkeeper entering his final contract year. Benfica will deliberate further and decide whether to pay the €10m asking price for the 30-year-old German or focus on other targets.