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Arsenal in transfer talks to sign 25-year-old star as Arteta eyes 6th signing

Runar Alex Runarsson

Arsenal are in talks with Dijon over a potential £1.5m deal to sign Runar Alex Runarsson as Mikel Arteta looks to replace Aston Villa-bound Emiliano Martinez, according to The Telegraph.

Martinez impressed for the Gunners during the second half of last season while deputising for the injured Bernd Leno and he played a key role in helping Arsenal win the FA Cup and Community Shield.

The Argentinian now wants regular first team football but with No.1 goalkeeper Leno now back to full fitness, that’s not something Arteta can offer Martinez right now so the 28-year-old is set to end his long association with the north London club.

Martinez was left out of the Arsenal squad for Saturday’s 3-0 win at Fulham in order to finalise a proposed move to Aston Villa leaving Arteta in the market for a new back-up goalkeeper to support Leno this season.

Brentford’s David Raya has been strongly linked with a switch to the Emirates in recent days, however, the Bees are reluctant to sell and it looks like Arteta has found a potential back-up option.

The Telegraph claim that Arsenal are in talks with Dijon over the signing of Runarsson after the 25-year-old was recommended to Arteta by goalkeeping coach Inaki Cana – who worked with Runarsson during their time together at Nordsjaelland.

The newspaper says a deal would cost around £1.5m so the reported £20m windfall from the sale of Martinez would leave plenty of funds left over for Arteta to put towards a new central midfielder.

Runarsson doesn’t have a huge amount of top level experience as he’s currently second choice at Dijon and has made just 36 appearances for the Ligue 1 outfit sine joining two years ago.

He has been capped 5 times by Iceland and was named in their 2018 World Cup squad but some Arsenal fans may be a little concerned if Runarsson is the man Arteta goes for to replace Martinez.

If Leno was to pick up another injury this campaign, it would be a huge risk to ask the inexperienced Runarsson to deputise as first choice at a big club like Arsenal, especially in a demanding league like the Premier League.

We’ll have to wait and see how things develop but with Matt Macey also linked with a move away from Arsenal, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Arteta was actually eyeing Runarsson as his third-choice goalkeeper.

Either way, if the Icelandic stopper does end up moving to the Emirates, he’d become Arsenal’s sixth major signing of the summer following the arrivals of Gabriel, Willian and Dani Ceballos while Cedric Soares and Pablo Mari have made their loan moves permanent.

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