Fulham have identified a Craven Cottage return for Sergio Rico as an alternative to signing Bernd Leno as protracted negotiations with Arsenal for the German international goalkeeper continue, according to various reports this afternoon.

Marco Silva wants to replace Marek Rodak as the Whites’ first-choice goalkeeper ahead of their return to the Premier League, but Arsenal are holding out for £15m for their 30 year-old third choice custodian, having rejected offers worth £8.5m and £10m for Leno, who is the final year of his contract at the Emirates Stadium. Fulham are still hopeful of concluding a deal bring Leno across the capital – with the player currently in Florida on Arsenal’s pre-season tour – but are considering other options with their opening game against Liverpool only sixteen days away.

Rico spent the 2018/2019 campaign on loan with Fulham from Sevilla, conceding 59 goals in 32 games after replacing Marcus Bettinelli in the starting line-up as the Whites were relegated from the top flight. The Spanish international then moved to Paris Saint-Germain but has struggled for game time at the Parc des Princes and spent the second half of last season on loan with Mallorca. The 28 year-old was dropped after letting in six goals against relegation rivals Granada and made just fifteen appearances as Javier Aguirre’s outfit beat the drop by a single point.