Wenger confirms Lehmann deal
Jens Lehmann will sign for Arsenal for the rest of the season, manager Arsene Wenger today confirmed.
With Lukasz Fabianski sidelined until the end of the season because of a shoulder problem and Wojciech Szczesny suffering an injured finger during the UEFA Champions League defeat to Barcelona, Manuel Almunia has been left as the only fit senior goalkeeper within the Gunners squad.
Given Vito Mannone, who also has first-team experience, has been hampered by a thigh problem while on loan at Hull City, Wenger has elected to ask Lehmann to come out of retirement and return to the club he left in 2008.
Lehmann, 41, played for two seasons at Stuttgart before hanging up his gloves and has since worked in the German media.
The veteran made almost 200 appearances for the Gunners - with whom he won the Premier League title in 2003/04 as part of the 'Invincibles' side - and has been in regular touch with Arsenal, where he had been set to work on coaching badges.
Lehmann, who would be signed as a free agent, could be in contention to make the squad for Saturday's Premier League trip to struggling West Bromwich Albion.
Wenger confirmed today: "Lehmann is training with us and will sign for the rest of the season. We have no cover in the Premier League, so that is why I decided to bring Jens back. He has not signed, but it [a contract] has been agreed."
Lehmann - who was sent off in the 2006 Champions League final defeat against Barcelona - is likely to provide experienced cover for Almunia, renewing the pair's often difficult relationship when they battled it out for the No1 spot.
Arsenal, though, have plenty of injury worries, with centre-half Thomas Vermaelen not expected to play again this season following his recovery from an Achilles problem, while Johan Djourou is set for around six weeks out with a dislocated shoulder.