Arsenal signing Runar Alex Runarsson would help deals for Thomas Partey and Houssem Aouar

Arsenal target Runar Alex Runarsson would be “significantly” cheaper than Brentford goalkeeper David Raya, leaving Mikel Arteta with more funds for other signings, according to Sky Sports reporter Dharmesh Sheth. Arsenal are in the market for a goalkeeper, with Emiliano Martinez close to completing a £20million move to Aston Villa.

Iceland international Runarsson, who plays for Ligue 1 club Dijon, emerged as a target for the Gunners over the weekend.

The 25-year-old made just 12 appearances in all competitions last season before the campaign was ended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Raya, meanwhile, was key to Brentford reaching the Championship play-off final last term before making a costly mistake in the 2-0 loss to Fulham at Wembley.

However, the Bees are not keen on selling the Spaniard, who was left out of the opening day loss to Birmingham on Saturday.

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Reports have claimed Arsenal were preparing to offer £10m for Raya but Sheth says Runarsson would be a much cheaper option.

Arsenal are still in the market for Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey and Lyon star Houssem Aouar but they must raise funds first.

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“The interesting thing about these two keepers is both have been coached by Arsenal’s goalkeeping coach Inaki Pavon in the past,” Sheth said on Sky Sports News.

“Now, Pavon coached David Raya when he was the goalkeeping coach at Brentford and he also coached Runarsson when he was goalkeeping coach at the Danish club Nordsjaelland.

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“Raya’s agent, for his part, is trying to get Brentford to negotiate. Brentford refuse to do that.

“The keeper would be willing to hand in a transfer request if Arsenal made their interest formal.

“That hasn’t happened yet and Brentford are simply saying ‘he is not for sale’.

“However, Runarsson, that could be a different kettle of fish altogether.

“He’s currently only second choice at Dijon and he would cost significantly less than David Raya would at Brentford and that would leave quite a bit of money for Arteta to maybe fund other areas of the pitch in his squad.”

Arsenal have been linked with a move for Partey throughout the summer transfer window but have not been prepared to activate the 27-year-old’s £45m release clause.

Meanwhile, the Gunners saw a player-plus-cash offer for Aouar turned down.

The out-of-favour Matteo Guendouzi was the player Arsenal wanted to include as part of the deal.

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