Arsenal swoop for keeper Runarsson to rival Leno
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One of the principal bidders for Wigan Athletic has withdrawn an offer while two other proposals have fallen significantly short of the £4 million asking price, the club’s administrators said.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.