Arsenal eye £17.5m target in crucial swoop to potentially replace key veteran

Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech turns 36 next month, and so the Gunners may well opt to push ahead with plans to identify a long-term replacement for him.

The veteran shot-stopper has been in north London since 2015 and has gone on to make over 100 appearances for the club after joining from Chelsea.

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While there is no doubt Cech’s experience and quality is crucial for Arsenal, he has been guilty of some costly errors this season, notably away at Swansea City earlier in the year, and so question marks could be raised over his ability to remain first choice between the posts at the Emirates for the foreseeable future.

According to The Sun, Arsenal have set their sights on £17.5m-rated Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno, but will have to fend off competition from Atletico Madrid and Napoli.

Unless Atleti are fearful that they will lose world-class goalkeeper Jan Oblak this summer, their interest in Leno doesn’t seem to make too much sense.

In contrast, as noted by The Daily Mail, with Pepe Reina being heavily linked with a move to AC Milan this summer on a free transfer, Napoli will certainly be in the market to replace the influential Spaniard next season.

As a result, it remains to be seen if Arsenal are genuinely interested in the German international, and if so, whether or not they can beat their competition to his signature.

The 26-year-old has been with Leverkusen since 2011, making 280 appearances for the Bundesliga outfit while also winning six caps for Germany.

In turn, he has the experience at the highest level to be a sensible transfer target for Arsenal. However, with David Ospina already at the club, time will tell whether or not the Colombian is given a more prominent role next year or if Arsenal look outside the club to potentially replace Cech in the near future.

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