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Alex Runarsson close to Arsenal transfer

It looks like Arsenal have found their Emi Martinez replacement. Reports have Runarsson in London for a medical.

Paris Saint-Germain v Dijon FCO - Ligue 1 Photo by Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images

That didn’t take long. Alex Runarsson may be on his way to London (or already there) for his Arsenal medical ahead of a £1.6M move from Dijon, depending on which reports you believe. As you know, Arsenal are in the market for a backup goalkeeper after selling Emi Martinez to Aston Villa for £20M. The Gunners were first linked with the Iceland international (5 caps) last week, but the rumor really picked up steam yesterday.

Runarsson has ties to Arsenal goalkeeper coach Inaki Cana — the pair overlapped for a season in Denmark at FC Nordsjælland. The familiarity is likely the main reason for the move, because Runarsson’s numbers in Ligue 1 have not been scintillating. He’s conceded 61 goals in 36 appearances. His first season he gave up 9 more goals than expected goals projected he should. Last season, his expected goals conceded and actual goals conceded were basically the same.

To be fair, Dijon aren’t very good. He faced a lot of shots without much help in front of him. I’m willing to trust Arsenal’s evaluation of him. And remember, he’s coming in to be a backup. The good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, we won’t have to see much of him this season.

As we wrote about yesterday, Arsenal have long been interested in Brentford’s David Raya, but he would have been significantly more expensive (£10M) than Runarsson, and Brentford weren’t looking likely to sell. A £1.6M move for Runarsson lets Arsenal spend the majority of the Martinez funds elsewhere. Perhaps on a flashy move for a big-name midfielder like, I don’t know, Houssem Aouar?