Bernd Leno emerges as De Gea alternative for Madrid


For Real Madrid, all roads lead to David de Gea but if the European champions are unsuccessful in their bid to sign the Manchester United man, one avenue could lead to Germany.

The Spanish media believe a deal for De Gea to replace Iker Casillas at club level as well as country is all-but done but Madrid are also looking at back-ups if their  No.1 target slips through their fingers.

Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno has emerged as second choice if De Gea opts to stay in the Premier League and refuse a return to the Spanish capital, where he played for Atletico Madrid before being snapped up by the Old Trafford club.

Both Marca and Bild have reported this week that the highly-rated 23-year-old is on the list of goalkeepers to arrive at the Santiago Bernabeu should things not go smoothly in signing De Gea.

Leno has impressed ever since making his Champions League debut against Chelsea at the age of just 19, becoming the youngest German goalkeeper to play in the competition, and was a key factor in the Bundesliga club reaching the last-16 this season. Leverkusen only bowed out on penalties against Spanish champions and last season’s finalists Atletico Madrid.

Leno also has an €18m release clause with Bayer, enabling Madrid to pay a snip of what they would need to to bring De Gea to the Bernabeu.

All eyes will remain on De Gea to solve the goalkeeping problem at the Bernabeu but Leno has emerged as the club’s ideal back-up.



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