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Mikel Arteta handed Bernd Leno problem as Arsenal star’s agent aims dig at manager | Football | Sport

Bernd Leno remains the ‘clear number one’ at Arsenal despite the German internation losing his starting spot to Aaron Ramsdale. That is the bizarre view of Leno’s agent Joannis Koukoutrigas, who has confirmed Fulham are interested in a deal for his client.

Leno was restricted to just eight appearances for the Gunners in all competitions last season, as Mikel Arteta favoured summer signing Ramsdale from September onwards. The former Sheffield United shot-stopper impressed in his debut campaign for Arsenal, and has since earned two senior caps for England.

Leno has made 125 appearances for the Gunners since signing from Bayer Leverkusen in 2018, but his days at the Emirates Stadium appear to be numbered. The 30-year-old has just one year left on his deal, and Arsenal are said to be open to offers for the goalkeeper.

Premier League new boys Fulham are ‘trying hard’ to sign the Gunners’ backup, according to Koukoutrigas. However, Leno’s agent has claimed there is also interest from elsewhere while firing a less than subtle dig at Arteta.

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Leno was called up for Germany’s Euro 2020 squad, but has played second fiddle to Manuel Neuer and has played just nine times for his country. The former Arsenal number one opened up on his frustration at dropping down to the bench in an interview in April.

Leno told Goal and Spox: “It was a setback and a bitter moment. But that’s sport, you have to accept that. It wasn’t easy, but I couldn’t feel sorry for myself, I wanted to attack again immediately.

“I don’t want to say I was a pawn, but when the results aren’t right, sometimes things happen quickly in football. The coach wanted to set a new impulse – and then the results came. That was bitter for me, because I had held up well before that.

“I had never experienced anything like that in my career before. But I looked ahead. My ambition is to always play, I know what I can do. I’m not 20 anymore, where I could say: ‘I still have time’.”

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