Bernd Leno has dismissed speculation he will leave Arsenal this summer with an amusing social media post referencing Lewis Hamilton and the Monaco Grand Prix.
Leno, 30, may wear No. 1 for the Gunners but he lost his place in the starting XI at the start of the season following the £30million arrival of Aaron Ramsdale last summer. The England international, 24, produced a string of fine performances in the Premier League to make first-choice status his own.
This restricted Leno to just eight appearances in all competitions, half of which came in the FA Cup and EFL Cup. The Germany goalkeeper admitted he was in a “difficult” position in October and appeared to be less than pleased with Mikel Arteta, although he appears to have mended his relationship with his manager.
Nonetheless, there is speculation Leno could leave the Emirates this summer, especially as he is approaching the final 12 months of the deal he signed when joining from Bayer Leverkusen for a fee in the region of £20million back in 2018. One report from earlier this week claimed he is all but certain to depart this summer having already said his goodbyes to teammates and staff at the club’s London Colney headquarters.
Leno was said to be desperate to feature at the World Cup later this year and knows regular football will boost his chances of securing a spot in Hansi Flick’s squad for the Qatar winter tournament. His departure would pave the way for Matt Turner to become Ramsdale’s deputy next season after an agreement was struck with New England Revolution for the American earlier this year.
However, Ramsdale shot down suggestions he is going anywhere this summer by taking to Twitter on Monday. Replying to a tweet detailing the initial report, he shared a picture of himself alongside his wife, Sophie Christin, outside the Mercedes paddock in Monaco for last weekend’s Grand Prix.
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Accompanying the post, he wrote: “Breaking news: Bernd Leno joins @LewisHamilton @F1 Team. He was spotted yesterday in front his box in Monaco. Your source is not the best mate.” For good measure, the shot-stopper also added a number of crying-laughing emojis.
Leno’s post making light of the rumours he will leave Arsenal this summer suggest he has by no means said farewell to his colleagues. It also hints he is happy to see out the remaining year of his contract and pursue a new challenge in 2023, as he will be able to enter pre-contract negotiations with clubs outside England as soon as January.