ARSENAL are ready to ditch calamity goalkeeper Alex Runarsson after just four months at the Emirates if they can sign a replacement during the January transfer.

But renewed efforts to lure David Raya from Brentford are unlikely to succeed after the Spaniard signed a new Bees contract in October.

Icelandic international Runarsson has failed to impress as back-up to Bernd Leno since his £1million move from Rennes in September.

He was originally signed to be Arsenal’s third choice keeper but those plans changed when Emiliano Martinez was sold to Aston Villa for £20million.

But Runarsson has struggled to step up in the Europa League and had an absolute nightmare when Arsenal lost 4-1 to Manchester City in last month’s Carabao Cup quarter-finals.

Now manager Mikel Arteta is prepared to let him go out on loan to a Championship team to gain more experience of English football.

But that will only happen if Arsenal can bring in a replacement keeper after selling Matt Macey to Hibs for a nominal fee last week.

Raya remains their top target after being personally recommended to Arteta by goalkeeping coach Inaki Cana, who worked with the Spaniard at Brentford before joining Arsenal last year.

The Gunners had a £10m bid rejected in the summer before Raya signed his new four-year contract.

And the Championship club will resist all bids for the promising 25-year-old this month as they are still in the frame for Premier League promotion.


Arteta admitted: “We are assessing what is going to happen with the three goalkeeping positions.

“The discussions we had in the summer turned out to be different to what actually happened because of the transfer window and the situation that developed with Emi Martinez.

“We didn’t have much time to do what we really wanted so we decided to assess the situation again in this window.

“There is no decision yet with Alex Runarsson so we must decide how we want to move forward in these positions.”

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