90Min.com have reported that Newcastle are interested in Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno on loan. The 29-year-old has said to manager Mikel Arteta he would like a move away from North London.
The report states that Newcastle have held talks with the Gunners for a temporary move, with an obligation to buy once the season concludes. Leno is currently the second choice behind Aaron Ramsadale who joined Arsenal last summer. The English stopper has been a standout performer between the sticks, relegating the German to the bench.
However, Arsenal are reportedly hesitant to let go of Leno. They won’t want to leave themselves short, making an agreement on a potential deal very difficult.
With four keepers already in the 25 man squad, why do Newcastle want another goalkeeper?
Currently, the Magpies have four keepers registered in their 25-man squad. Even with Freddie Woodman linked with a loan move away, adding a loan keeper seems a waste of a place. It would still leave Martin Dubravka, Karl Darlow and Mark Gillespie present – unless the club wants to let one of them go.
Furthermore, the fact it’s a loan deal with an obligation to buy come the summer – wouldn’t it make more sense to buy Leno in the summer and forget the loan? From there Newcastle can then move on the keepers they wish to. The goalkeepers that the Toon Army have will be more than fine until the end of the season. Throwing another into the mix simply complicates matters.
Additionally, with Arsenal being hesitant to let go of Leno, it seems that this move won’t move beyond the initial talks already being held. Other positions are more important for Newcastle to explore this January. A centre-back or two, a midfielder and another new striker should be the focus.
With a number of keepers already at the club, a loan move for Leno is unlikely to be on the cards. Other positions need to be the priority for Newcastle if they are to ensure survival. It would be of no surprise if nothing progresses beyond this rumour.
The Gunners don’t want to leave themselves short of options in the net. Perhaps they may look to offload him in the summer and find a replacement then. But for this time in the season, Leno is very unlikely to head to Tyneside.