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Page last updated at 13:16 GMT, Thursday, 17 March 2011

Arsenal re-sign keeper Jens Lehmann until end of season


Wenger confirms Lehmann contract

German goalkeeper Jens Lehmann has rejoined Arsenal on a rolling monthly contract until the end of the season.

The 41-year-old former Germany international has been a free agent since retiring in 2010 after two years with Stuttgart.

Injuries to Wojciech Szczesny, Lukasz Fabianski and Vito Mannone have left Manuel Almunia as the only fit keeper in Arsene Wenger's squad..

Lehmann made 199 appearances for Arsenal between 2003 and 2008.

Because he no longer has a club, Arsenal will have no transfer fee to pay and Lehmann could be in contention to make the squad for Saturday's Premier League trip to struggling West Brom.

Wenger said: "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 a contract has been agreed."

He added: "I'm happy because when Jens is in training he is as motivated as ever. If he has to play, if I choose to play him, his huge motivational level will be vitally important."

Lehmann won the Premier League title in 2003/2004 as part of the Invincibles side and has been in regular contact with Arsenal, where he had been set to work on coaching badges.

He played 61 times for Germany and left Arsenal in 2008 after losing his place to Manuel Almunia. His return to the club could prove interesting as the pair openly admit they did not enjoy a harmonious relationship.

But Wenger said: "There has been much more said about that relationship than what happened. There is a lot of respect between the two goalkeepers."

"I think Jens Lehmann will get the best out of Almunia, because he will show him every day he is ready to fight for his place - as he has always been. Almunia will be motivated by that," he added.

Lehmann was signed in time to take his place on the substitutes' bench at West Brom on Saturday.

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see also
Arsenal close in on Lehmann deal
15 Mar 11 |  Football
Keeper Szczesny out for six weeks
11 Mar 11 |  Arsenal
Fabianski out for rest of season
03 Feb 11 |  Arsenal

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