Arsenal are preparing to make a bid to sign Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno this summer with Arsene Wenger losing faith in both Wojciech Szczesny and David Ospina, reports Metro.
The 22-year-old has been very impressive for both his club and the Germany Under-21 international side, catching admiring glances from the Gunners in the process. The Bundesliga outfit are likely to demand around £25 million for Leno, which would break the current Premier League record for a goalkeeper.
However, Arsenal's need for a world-class shot-stopper has become widely apparent this season and Wenger now has the kind of money available to him to make big signings.
Wenger put a tremendous amount of faith in Szczesny when he first broke into the first team. The Telegraph claimed last month that the Arsenal manager turned down the chance to sign Hugo Lloris from Lyon in order to supercharge Szczesny's progression. The Mirror claim that Szczesny was handed a stunning £100,000-a-week deal in 2013.
While Lloris has gone on to become a world-class goalkeeper for Tottenham Hotspur, Szczesny has failed to reach his potential despite garnering a large amount of experience in the early stages of his career.
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Having been at fault for both goals in a 2-0 defeat to Southampton, Szczesny was caught smoking in the dressing room shower and was subsequently dropped. David Ospina has impressed and now looks like establishing himself ahead of Szczesny for the rest of the season.
The same report in Metro claims Wenger is ready to sell the Pole as an ultimate punishment for his lack of discipline by putting him up for sale when the transfer window reopens.
Ospina not good enough
While the Colombian international has impressed since his summer arrival from Nice, it has been suggested that Wenger never designated as a first choice goalkeeper. Ospina was heavily tested against Tottenham and drew criticism for his poor distribution and tendency to punch the ball rather than catch it.
While Ospina was not at fault for either of Tottenham's goals, his unconvincing style makes Wenger's interest in Leno all the more plausible. Wenger has spent in excess of £30 million on both Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil in previous summers and fans can expect another world-class addition this year.
If Szczesny is to be sold as is suggested then there is a definite need for Wenger to find a suitable replacement. Lloris is now untouchable as a Spurs player while Chelsea are unlikely to sell Petr Cech to a Premier League rival. A huge talent like Leno could prove to be the best option for Arsenal's future.