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Arsenal hope to complete sixth summer signing by Friday to provide West Ham clash boost

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Arsenal are hopeful of having a deal for Runar Alex Runarsson completed by midday on Friday in order to have him in the squad to face West Ham in the Premier League on Saturday night.

The Gunners take on their London rivals in their first home match of the 2020-21 campaign (8pm kick-off, live on Sky Sports).

It will be the first game since Emiliano Martinez departed for Aston Villa in a £20million move.

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But third-choice shot-stopper Matt Macey, 26, has publicly admitted he wants to leave the north London outfit, having not made a single senior appearance since joining in 2014.

And Arsenal are busy trying to recruit a successor to the long-serving Martinez, who calls time on a 10-year stint at the Emirates to join Villa.

The Argentine had proven himself a superb back-up to Bernd Leno while the German was out injured last season and kept nine clean sheets in 23 games but wants to be a guaranteed No 1.

As they look to recruit a new deputy for Leno, Brentford's David Raya and Iceland international Runarsson of Dijon have emerged as the top targets.

A low-cost deal for Runarsson, 25, is thought to be close and Arsenal would like to get a deal done in order for him to play against the Hammers, according to Sky Sports' Transfer Talk Show.

Host Emma Paton said: "A line to bring you from Arsenal now. They are close to signing Dijon goalkeeper Runar Alex Runarsson.

"They hope to have a deal completed as soon as possible.

"Runarsson might be registered midday on Friday to be part of the Arsenal squad for Saturday's game against West Ham."

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Runarsson would become Arsenal's sixth summer signing after Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares' deals were made permanent, Dani Ceballos was re-signed on loan from Real Madrid and Willian and Gabriel Magalhaes join from Chelsea and Lille respectively.

The keeper is likely to sign a five-year deal should all the formalities of a switch be confirmed, with David Ornstein saying that Arsenal have long scouted the shot-stopper.

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Speaking about Arsenal’s search for a new No 2 on Tifo Podcast’s Ask Ornstein, Ornstein said: “In terms of a replacement, we know Arsenal greatly admire David Raya from Brentford.

“We also know that Brentford have no particular reason to sell, especially after getting a windfall from the sale of Ollie Watkins. I’m told they’re reluctant to even engage on this one.

“One suggestion we’ve had at The Athletic is that Arsenal might buy Raya, who would be expensive for a second-choice keeper, then loan him back to Brentford to try and ease that situation and make sure Brentford keep their No 1 goalkeeper.

“We don’t know any more at this stage. The other interesting one that has been widely reported now is Alex Runarsson.


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"He plays for Dijon, he’s Icelandic, he’s 25 and he’s known to the Arsenal goalkeeping coach Inaki Cana because they worked together at Nordsjaelland previously.

“As far as we know, there are talks between the clubs over a fee in the region of £1m but I don't think there is an agreement on that fee, how it would be paid.

"Also I think that reports that he underwent a medical at Arsenal are wide of the mark.

"While that may happen and he may come in as Arsenal's No 2, I do think there is long-standing interest, over a number of months they've been looking into this possibility, it's definitely not done yet. We'll have to watch that space."

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