According to the Telegraph, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is set to sign Icelandic goalkeeper Runar Alex Runarsson from Dijon for a reported £1.5 million, on a five-year deal. Arsenal have been looking to sign a back-up goalkeeper since they sold Emiliano Martinez to Aston Villa for £20 million earlier this week.
Runar Runarsson plays for Dijon in the French Ligue 1. He joined the club in 2018 and has made 36 appearances for Dijon, during his two seasons at the club.
Runarrson is a relatively inexperienced goalkeeper but was recommended to Arsenal boss, Mikel Arteta, by goalkeeping coach, Inaki Cana, who worked with Runarrson during their time together at Nordsjaelland in Denmark.
Runarrson has represented Iceland at the under-17, under-19, and under-21 youth level, and also appeared for the Iceland national side five times. Runarrson's signing would come as a shock to Arsenal fans, as he is relatively unknown and has failed to hold down a start spot at Dijon, since joining in 2018.
Arsenal were rumored to be interested in signing Brentford goalkeeper David Raya. Brentford have been reluctant to sell their goalkeeper, as they look to mount another push to reach the Premier League, having been denied at the Championship play-off stage last season.
Arsenal look to focus efforts on signing top transfer targets after landing goalkeeper Runarrson from Dijon
It looks like Arsenal have decided to use the funds from the Emiliano Martinez sale to sign a midfielder this summer, with the club being linked with Thomas Partey and Houssem Aouar, both of whom have been slapped with €50 million price tags by Atletico Madrid and Lyon respectively.
Arsenal may well have signed Runarrson to be their third choice goal-keeper, in the same way that Tottenham signed Joe Hart from Burnley, even though they have Hugo Lloris and Paulo Gazzaniga at the club.
Arsenal could still be in the hunt for a second choice goal-keeper even after signing Runarrson, but all the signs indicated that the Gunners would rather focus their efforts on signing a top-quality midfielder this summer.
Arsenal have lacked the financial backing they require to be a real force in the transfer market this summer. The North London club have had to resort to loan deals and signing free agents. Arsenal have spent €40 million this summer on the signings of Gabriel Magalhaes and Pablo Mari.
Runarrson could prove to be a diamond in the dust, the same way Emiliano Martinez was for Arsenal. Arsenal could stand to benefit from developing a young goalkeeper like Runarrson, who comes with potential, by either playing him in the future or selling him for a sizeable sum to earn profits.Published 15 Sep 2020, 19:41 IST