Ar­se­nal swoop for keeper Ru­nars­son to ri­val Leno

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport Football - By Sam Dean

Ar­se­nal have com­pleted the sign­ing of Ice­landic goal­keeper Ru­nar Alex Ru­nars­son from French side Di­jon for about £1.5 mil­lion.

The 25-year-old ar­rives to pro­vide com­pe­ti­tion for Bernd Leno fol­low­ing the de­par­ture of Emil­iano Martinez to As­ton Villa. He has signed a fouryear con­tract. “I would say I am a mod­ern goal­keeper,” Ru­nars­son (right) said. “It is one of my best at­tributes that I am com­fort­able with my feet. I am not afraid to play as a sweeper and I am good one against one.”

Ar­se­nal have had a bid of about £10mil­lion for Brent­ford’s David Raya turned down as they pur­sue another goal­keeper be­cause they ex­pect to lose English­man Matt Macey, who could move on to se­cure reg­u­lar first-team foot­ball. Ru­nars­son has pre­vi­ously worked with Inaki Cana, the Ar­se­nal goal­keep­ing coach, dur­ing their time to­gether at FC Nord­s­jael­land.

“It is a re­ally big fac­tor,” Ru­nars­son said. “Our re­la­tion­ship, since we got to know each other four years ago, has been very good. We have stayed in con­tact even though I was play­ing in France and he was coach­ing in Eng­land.

“It is im­por­tant to me that I know some­body here and I know that he knows my qual­i­ties, what I need to im­prove and what I can bring to the club.”

Asked about Cana’s im­pact on goal­keeper re­cruit­ment, man­ager Mikel Arteta said: “When it comes down to the goal­keeper, he has a big say on how we are go­ing to im­ple­ment our method­ol­ogy, how we are go­ing to train them and how we are go­ing to treat the goal­keep­ing po­si­tion in the short, medium and long term. I have big faith in Inaki, as I do with the rest of the staff here.”

Derby eye Dun­can

Derby County are of­fer­ing Bobby Dun­can, the for­mer Liver­pool striker, a sur­prise re­turn to English foot­ball. Dun­can, 19, the cousin of Steven Ger­rard, left Liver­pool for Fiorentina in ac­ri­mo­nious cir­cum­stances last year. Dun­can’s exit from Liver­pool an­gered the An­field hi­er­ar­chy af­ter his for­mer agent, Saif Ru­bie, is­sued a state­ment ac­cus­ing the club of “dam­ag­ing his men­tal health”. Liver­pool de­nied the claims.

Wi­gan bid blow

One of the prin­ci­pal bid­ders for Wi­gan Ath­letic has with­drawn an of­fer while two other pro­pos­als have fallen sig­nif­i­cantly short of the £4 mil­lion ask­ing price, the club’s ad­min­is­tra­tors said. Beg­bies Traynor claimed an un­named in­vestor was pre­pared to de­posit £4m with their lawyers but backed off af­ter so­cial me­dia spec­u­la­tion about a ri­val £2m bid from a FrenchAmer­i­can con­sor­tium. The League One side have lost both their open­ing fix­tures.

Suarez to Atletico

Barcelona striker Luis Suarez has agreed a deal with the club to end his con­tract and set­tled on per­sonal terms with Atletico Madrid, ac­cord­ing to Span­ish me­dia re­ports. Barcelona’s third-high­est scorer ever has been told he is not wanted by new coach Ron­ald Koe­man. Suarez, 33, who had one year to run on the con­tract, ne­go­ti­ated a deal with the club to cut it short. It is un­der­stood the for­mer Liver­pool for­ward has now agreed a two-year deal with Atletico.

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