Arsenal are looking to offload backup goalkeeper Runar Alex Runarsson just four months after signing the Iceland international and are trying to sign a new number two, according to reports.
The 25-year-old arrived at the Emirates over the summer as a replacement for Emiliano Martinez, who moved to Aston Villa for a big fee, though he has struggled to fill the Argentine’s rather impressive gloves.
While Martinez was pivotal in winning the FA Cup and the Community Shield, Runarsson’s biggest contribution of note for Arsenal so far was an error-strewn display in their Carabao Cup defeat to Manchester City.
Now, according to The Athletic, Arsenal are actively looking to send the goalkeeper out on loan this month if they can secure a new backup to play second fiddle to Bernd Leno.
Runarsson was not the Gunners’ first choice last summer – they had tried to sign David Raya from Brentford but the Championship side played hardball over a fee – and he was always viewed as more of a third-choice option.
Arsenal feel he would benefit from getting more playing time and experience on loan elsewhere and clubs from the Championship and around Europe have already expressed an interest.
Runarsson will only leave, though, if Arsenal can secure a new number two and they are ideally looking to make a permanent signing – though Raya may again prove too costly, particularly in the January window.
If no permanent option is available, Arsenal will also explore bringing in a more seasoned and experienced backup on loan this month, with Runarsson loaned out, and will then look to readdress the issue in the summer.
Arsenal’s Icelandic keeper has looked very shaky in his five appearances for the club – four in the Europa League and one in the Carabao Cup – and has conceded seven goals.
He let Riyad Mahrez’s free-kick squirm through his hands in Arsenal’s Carabao Cup exit to Manchester City and was even forced to delete his Twitter account afterwards, though the north London club’s decision to try and offload him is not believed to be a direct result of that gaffe.
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