Arsenal consider signing goalkeeper in January transfer window

Soccer Football - Carabao Cup - Quarter-Final - Arsenal v Manchester City - Emirates Stadium, London, Britain - December 22, 2020 Arsenal's Runar Alex Runarsson and Shkodran Mustafi look dejected after Aymeric Laporte scored Manchester City's fourth goa - REUTERS/TOBY MELVILLE 
Soccer Football – Carabao Cup – Quarter-Final – Arsenal v Manchester City – Emirates Stadium, London, Britain – December 22, 2020 Arsenal’s Runar Alex Runarsson and Shkodran Mustafi look dejected after Aymeric Laporte scored Manchester City’s fourth goa – REUTERS/TOBY MELVILLE

Arsenal are exploring possible goalkeeping options in the January transfer window, with Mikel Arteta saying the club is “assessing” their situation in this key position.

Bernd Leno remains the club’s undisputed number one but there are concerns over the quality of backup goalkeeper Alex Runarsson.

Arsenal wanted to sign Brentford’s David Raya in the summer but their approach was rejected by the Championship club.

Telegraph Sport understands that Raya remains a key target but he will not be available until the summer, and even then those plans could be disrupted if Brentford secure promotion to the Premier League.

Arsenal are therefore in the market for a short-term option this month, with Runarsson potentially being allowed to leave on loan in the coming weeks. 

Matt Macey, the previous third-choice goalkeeper, left Arsenal to join Hibernian last week while Emiliano Martinez, the backup to Leno last season, was sold to Aston Villa in the summer for a fee of around £20 million.

“We are assessing what is going to happen with the three positions,” said Arteta, referring to the three goalkeeping slots. “The discussions we had in the summer within the club are a little bit different to what actually happened because of the transfer window and the situation that developed with Emi. 

“We did not have much time to do what we really wanted to do, and we decided to assess the situation in this window which is what we are trying to do and we will make a decision on how we want to move forward in those three positions.”

Sam Dean's Arsenal briefingSam Dean's Arsenal briefing
Sam Dean’s Arsenal briefing

Asked about a loan move for Runarsson, who only signed in September, Arteta added: “There is nothing there yet.”

In terms of outgoings, Arteta said young striker Eddie Nketiah would not be leaving the club this month. He had been linked with a departure but remains an important option in Arsenal’s attack. Defender Sokratis, however, is set to depart in the coming weeks and Calum Chambers could also be loaned out.

As for Mesut Ozil, who is edging closer to the exit door amid strengthening links with Fenerbahce, Arteta said “nothing has changed” this weekend.

Meanwhile, the Arsenal manager admitted tightened coronavirus protocols around celebrations and contact in games are “difficult to understand” given that players are closely marking each other during the matches.

“To control the emotions when you are going 200mph in the game is very difficult,” he said. “We’re asking our players in corners, for example, to be man-marking people, to be pushing people around and then we cannot say hello to anybody. 

“It gets a little bit controversial and difficult to understand. Morally, with the situation we have in the county, with the situation we have worldwide, to keep doing what we are doing is a little bit of a strange feeling. 

“We know as well what we can bring to society if we are able to do it in a safe way, then there are a lot of positives to take. It’s just that balance [between] when this starts to get damaging and worrying and it starts to exploit people, and when we can do it and it’s still safe and we can add something positive. It’s a difficult context.”

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