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Arsenal are close to a move for Rúnar Alex Rúnarsson of Ligue 1 side Dijon, according to a report, bringing him in to cover for Emi Martinez’s departure.
Dugout chairman Elliot Richardson claims Arsenal are about to sign Rúnar Alex Rúnarsson from Dijon. The source isn’t exactly top-tier, but there’s some logic to the move, so it’s a rumour worth highlighting. Mike McGrath also tweeted about the interest.
For a start, Arsenal are selling Emi Martinez to Aston Villa this window. That’s effectively confirmed, even if we don’t have the announcement at the time of writing. The club reportedly aren’t considering Matt Macey as a backup, as he angles for a move.
Arsenal were looking at Brentford goalkeeper David Raya as a replacement, but Brentford don’t want to sell. So signing a relatively cheap alternative like Rúnarsson as a backup makes sense.
In addition, Rúnarsson previously worked with Arsenal goalkeeping coach Inaki Cana at FC Nordsjælland. Given the work Cana has done with Bernd Leno and Martinez, Mikel Arteta is likely to trust his opinion on goalkeepers.
Rúnarsson was in and out of the Dijon team last season, appearing in 11 of their 28 league games. He got a run in the side directly before lockdown, starting four in a row.
The 25-year-old is also an Iceland international, with five caps so far. He made the squad for the most recent international break, featuring on the bench against England and Belgium in the last week. However, his last start was in November 2018.
So he’s not a regular for club or country, but then neither was Martinez before his 2019 loan to Reading. If the rumours are true and Cana likes him, we’ll have to trust his judgement.