As per a report from reliable German outlet Bild, Liverpool have joined Premier League rivals Arsenal in the hunt for Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno. However, both clubs look likely to miss out on the shot-stopper to Serie A outfit Napoli.
Die Werkself star
Leno, a 26-year-old German international, has been on the books of Leverkusen since 2011, when he made the move to the Bundesliga heavyweights from Stuttgart.
And he has since gone on to develop into one of the German top-flight’s most highly-regarded shot-stoppers, with Leno’s performances this past season having led to links with some of Europe’s biggest clubs.
The club originally most heavily-touted as a potential destination for Leno was Arsenal, with the Gunners known to be on the lookout for a replacement for Petr Cech, following another mistake-plagued campaign for the veteran.
However, Serie A outfit Napoli were soon 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, as per a report from Bild over the last 24 hours, another contender have since entered the race for Leno, in the form of Champions League finalists Liverpool.
The Reds’ interest in AS Roma sensation Alisson has been common knowledge for some time, but Leno, with his 25 million Euro price-tag, would stand as a markedly more affordable option.
‘There already is one’
However, according to an intermediary in the negotiations between Leno and Napoli, Liverpool may well have emerged as contenders for the 6-time capped international too late, with the Partenopei ‘a few days’ from completing a deal for Leno.
Speaking in an interview with Italian outlet Calciomercato.com, Fabio Parisi explained:
‘We’ve been working on this deal for some time. We hope the clubs can reach an agreement as soon as possible.’
‘Agreement between Leno and Napoli? It’s very close… let’s say there already is one.’
‘We have to wait for Bayer Leverkusen before the deal can be closed. I think it’ll take a few more days.’