Runar Alex Runarsson is close to leaving Arsenal for newly promoted Turkish side Altay after just one season, according to reports.
Runarsson joined Arsenal from Dijon last summer to replace Aston Villa-bound Emiliano Martinez. But while Martinez has cemented his reputation as a reliable shot-stopper at Villa, Runarsson has done little to impress for the Gunners. He only made six appearances in all competitions last season.
A high-profile mistake against Manchester City contributed to their exit from the Carabao Cup in December. After that, he only played once – and that was as a substitute after Bernd Leno was sent off against Wolves in February.
That remains his only Premier League appearance and in fact it may have been his last. Arsenal signed Mat Ryan on loan in January to replace him as second-choice and are looking for another new keeper now.
Therefore, Runarsson’s chances of making it at the Emirates Stadium are fading fast. With that in mind, the club are ready to ship him out on loan to Altay.
According to the Mirror, Football London and Goal, Runarsson is close to joining the Turkish side for the 2021-22 season. There is a chance that the deal could be made permanent.
Altay were promoted to the Turkish Super Lig via the play-offs and are preparing for top-flight football again. They have identified Runarsson as someone who can help them and are now close to getting the deal through.
Runarsson is still under contract until 2024 with Arsenal, but it appears they already have plans to offload him.
Runarsson replacement required
Now, the attention will turn to finding a replacement who can better keep Leno on his toes.
Earlier this week, it was claimed that Arsenal have revived their interest in long-term target Neto.
Barcelona’s backup keeper has struggled to get past Marc-Andre Ter Stegen in the pecking order at Camp Nou. However, he has plenty of experience and is a reliable option.
Arsenal tried to sign him before they got Ryan in January. But Ronald Koeman still thought he was important for Barcelona.
Now, though the situation may change. Mikel Arteta thinks Neto has the qualities to fit into his style of building from the back, so could launch another move.