Report: Arsenal Eyes Leverkusen GK Bernd Leno as Petr Cech's Replacement

Arsenal are reportedly preparing a £22m offer for Bayer Leverkusen star Bernd Leno as Petr Cech's future starts to look precarious.
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Arsenal are reportedly preparing a £22m offer for Bayer Leverkusen star Bernd Leno as Petr Cech's future starts to look precarious.

Sport Bild (via the Metro) has alleged that the Gunners have stepped up their interest in the goalkeeper after Cech's poor display in his side's shock 2-1 defeat to Brighton on Sunday.

Cech, who has been stuck on 199 Premier League clean sheets for the past 11 matches, has shown signs of decline over the past few months and Arsenal are readying a long-term replacement for him.

That man is thought to be 26-year-old Leno, who has a release clause fee to the tune of £22m in his contract with the Bundesliga club.

Leno, who is also interesting Napoli, has revealed his desire to leave Leverkusen in the past, but admitted that he would only depart his homeland if he was guaranteed a starting berth at whichever club he opted to join.

He had said: "If I go abroad, it would not be as a number-one contender, but only as clear number one."

Cech will enter the final 12 months of his contract at the Emirates at the end of this term, and it is unlikely that Arsenal will offer him an extension given that he is 35 years of age.

The former Czech Republic international did apologize on social media for not doing enough to prevent either of Brighton's goals at the Amex Stadium on Sunday, but that has not halted calls for the north Londoners to replace him between the sticks.

Current understudy David Ospina is not rated highly enough to take over Cech's gloves on a permanent basis and the Colombian's future in the capital has also come under scrutiny as he looks for more regular first-team football.

Leno, who is contracted to Leverkusen until the summer of 2020, has helped Heiko Herrlich's team up to fifth in the German top flight table so far this season  and has registered 97 shut outs in 295 senior games for them.