Runar Alex Runarsson is set to become Arsenal’s fifth summer signing today, should he pass his medical. The Icelandic international is understood to be finalising his move to the Emirates Stadium in a deal worth just under £2million.
It’s a move that has saved Mikel Arteta up to £18m following the £20m departure of Emiliano Martinez to Aston Villa.
The Gunners boss has been told by the club’s hierarchy that he must raise funds in order to spend as he eyes audacious moves for Thomas Partey and Houssem Aouar.
Neither will come cheap but Arteta is set to continue selling the spare parts in his squad including Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi.
Martinez completed his move to Villa Park yesterday after it was decided he would be allowed to leave the club last week.
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The Argentine dropped out of the match day squad to face Fulham at Craven Cottage and instead headed north for a medical.
According to The Telegraph, Arsenal have wasted no time bringing in his replacement with Runarsson set to undergo his medical today.
Reports in Iceland earlier this week claimed he’d completed his medical on Monday but they are understood to have been premature.
It has been clear from the outset that this deal would involve smooth negotiations given the low valuation of the player.
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Runarsson was flagged up by Arsenal’s goalkeeper coach Inaki Cana, who worked with the 25-year-old at Nordsjaelland in Denmark.
He was part of Iceland’s squad at the 2018 World Cup and has been capped five times by his country.
The goalkeeper will now get the chance to rival Bernd Leno and stake his claim to be Arsenal’s No 1.
After Arsenal’s qualification for the Europa League, there is a good chance that Runarsson will get his fair share of minutes this season should he complete his move.
Arsenal have already completed the signing of Willian and Gabriel Magalhaes this summer whilst also securing permanent deals for Cedric Soares and Pablo Mari.
The Gunners had also been keen on Brentford goalkeeper David Raya but he is not for sale this summer.
Arsenal were exploring the possibility of signing him and loaning him back to the Bees for the Championship promotion push.
He now looks set to stay in west London, even though his agent made it clear a move would appeal to him.
Upon signing for Aston Villa, Argentine goalkeeper Martinez paid tribute to the Arsenal supporters on Instagram, writing: “I could not be happier to leave through the front door with the Arsenal fanbase supporting me and the club supporting me.
“I had 11 years at the club, and even if it was a hard road for me, and I suffered through my time at Arsenal, today I am happy and I tried to show young goalies how work pays off.”
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