Goalkeeper Bernd Leno has this evening taken to Twitter to post a brief message to Arsenal’s fans, following his arrival from Bayer Leverkusen.
Die Werkself star
Leno, a 26-year-old German international, had been on the books of Leverkusen since 2011, when he made the move to the Bundesliga heavyweights from Stuttgart.
And he since went on to develop into one of the German top-flight’s most highly-regarded shot-stoppers, with Leno’s performances at the BayArena having led to links with some of Europe’s biggest clubs over recent years.
The club originally most heavily-touted as a potential destination for Leno were Arsenal, with the Gunners known to be on the lookout for a replacement for Petr Cech, following another mistake-plagued campaign for the veteran.
Serie A outfit Napoli were also added to the German’s list of suitors by the media over recent weeks, with the Partenopei requiring a new no.1 following Pepe Reina’s surprise departure for AC Milan.
And a report from German outlet Bild at the start of the month then surprisingly named Liverpool as the latest club to be expressing an interest in Leno’s services, with the Reds having viewed the Leverkusen man as an alternative to Roma star Alisson (who now looks likely to join Real Madrid).
Serie A bound?
As such, evidently, reports widely conflicted over the last couple of weeks regarding where Leno was actually set to end up, with the only certainty that the German would not remain at the BayArena this summer.
Fabio Parisi, an intermediary who was involved in the negotiations between Leno and Napoli, revealed during an interview with Calciomercato.com on the 7th of June that the 6-time capped international was closing on a move to the Stadio San Paolo, with Parisi having even gone as far as to claim that a deal between the sides had already been found.
However, this claim was quickly shut down by other outlets, with mounting rumours over the last week having insisted that Leno was in fact inching closer to joining Arsenal.
And, after reliable German outlet Kicker revealed last night that the Leverkusen star’s move to the Emirates was set to be announced today, the Gunners this evening confirmed as much, making Leno’s arrival at the club official across their social media channels:
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) June 19, 2018
‘Happy and proud’
And Leno has since taken to Twitter to speak out for the first time as an Arsenal player, revealing his pride at having signed for the North Londoners, and making clear his excitement for next season:
Happy and proud to play for this great club @Arsenal in the future! I’ll do my best and I‘m looking forward to the start of the new season as a Gunner. 💪😉
— Bernd Leno (@Bernd_Leno) June 19, 2018