Arsenal boss Unai Emery has made his second signing for the club since taking over from Arsene Wenger. It is being reported that the Gunners have agreed a deal to sign Bernd Leno for £19million from German outfit Bayer Leverkusen.
Leno, 26, who missed out on selection for his nation’s FIFA World Cup squad for the tournament in Russia, will pen a five-year deal at the Emirates and be ushered in as a replacement for Petr Cech.
Arsenal are said to have agreed to pay the Germans a further fee of £3million once the deal goes through. Cech, who has just one year remaining on the deal he signed when he switched from Chelsea three years ago, could now be seen very much as surplus to requirements.
Leno’s dazzling displays helped Leverkusen finished fifth in the Bundesliga last term now he is leaving the club he joined from fellow German side Stuttgart.
Meanwhile, Arsenal youth supremo Per Mertesacker says recruiting former Gunner Freddie Ljungberg means there are exciting times ahead at the Emirates in terms of a production line of promising starlets.
Mertesacker has been handed the role of academy manager for the north London giants and would have had a huge say in Ljungberg re-joining the club this summer as chief coach of the U23 outfit. He was employed by the club in a coaching role within the Gunners’ youth set-up before heading to Wolfsburg last year.
Former Sweden attacker Ljungberg is fondly remembered by Gunners fans for his nine years as a player for the club; the highlight of which was undoubtedly playing a pivotal part in the 2004 Arsene Wenger side that were dubbed the Invincibles for winning the Premier league title without losing a single game.
Ljungberg returns to Arsenal club after a spell as Wolfsburg assistant coach, and Mertesacker is absolutely delighted that this is the case. He said: “It’s really great to have Freddie back at the club. He brings great footballing experience and the highest possible levels of enthusiasm, energy and encouragement for our young professionals.
“He really understands the club’s values and just how important it is to give young players the opportunity to grow and also to develop.
“When Freddie left for Wolfsburg it was with the club’s blessing and with a return to Arsenal some day in mind. Everyone knows Freddie loves the club and we look forward to him developing his career with us.”
“I’m delighted to be returning to the club,” Ljungberg told the Arsenal website. “Arsenal has always been a special place for me and I’m really excited at this opportunity to work with our under-23 team.
“I look forward to working with the talented young players we have at the club. I know many of them well and will work hard to help them continue developing and become the best players and people they can be.”