football.londonunderstands that a £20m deal taking Martinez to Aston Villa is now done, with only final formalities needing to be agreed between the player and the Gunners before his departure is officially confirmed.
With the 28-year-old on his way out of the Emirates Stadium, a spot will open up to become Bernd Leno’s understudy and plans are in place to fill the void.
According to The Telegraph, the Gunners are interested in signing Runarsson as a replacement for Martinez and the report states they have opened talks with Dijon over a deal.
Furthermore, it would appear that there shouldn’t be a problem in getting a transfer – said to be in the region of £1.5m – over the line before deadline day.
Speaking about the Iceland international in the middle of May, Dijon sporting director, Peguy Luyindula, admitted that Runarsson was likely to leave this summer in the search of regular football.
“Runarsson is a number one goalkeeper, so he’s going to want some playing time,” Luyindula said, as per L’Equipe.
This is because Runarsson lost his place in the side to Alfred Gomis last season, making just 11 appearances in Ligue 1 and has been an unused substitute in each of the three league games at the start of the new campaign.
If Runarsson completes his move to the Emirates, all eyes will be on his new shirt number.
The goalkeeper wore the number one jersey at Dijon, a shirt he has held since 2018/19, but at previous club FC Nordsjaelland, the 25-year-old wore the number 16 for four seasons. Before that at KR Reykjavik, Runarsson wore 25 for three years.
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If the stopper arrives in north London, all three of those shirt numbers are already taken – Leno occupies the number one shirt, Mohamed Elneny wears 25, whilst Rob Holding is currently the number 16.
There has been speculation that Arsenal are looking to trim their bloated squad this summer, with Elneny and Holding among the players linked with an exit.
Elneny spent last season on loan at Besiktas, but returned in the summer and has impressed Arteta since pre-season – earning him a start in the 3-0 win over Fulham on the opening day of the season.
Holding’s future has also been the source of speculation, with a loan move to Newcastle mooted several weeks ago.
West Ham are also reportedly interested in signing the former Bolton midfielder, with the Hammers ready to pay a £5million loan fee to secure a deal.