Everton's attempts to sign Iceland international goalkeeper Cecilia Ran Runarsdottir have been delayed due to Brexit rules, sources have told Goal.
The 17-year-old was set to join the club this month when she turned 18, the Toffees having beaten a number of clubs to her signature, including Women’s Super League rivals West Ham.
However, while playing for KIF Orebro in Sweden, Runarsdottir has not accumulated all of the points needed to navigate the new rules regarding transfers to England post-Brexit.
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The goalkeeper is still expected to sign terms with Everton on her birthday, which she celebrates on July 26, but the move will be delayed, with a January transfer a possibility instead.
Who is Runarsdottir?
Runarsdottir has been playing senior football in Iceland since she was 13 years old, starting her career with Afturelding. She helped the club win the second division title in 2017, before leaving for Fylkir the following season.
The teenager spent three years with the club in the Urvalsdeild, the top flight of women’s football in Iceland. In 2020, she was named the league’s Young Player of the Year.
Her development has not gone unnoticed at international level, with Runarsdottir winning her first senior call-up in late 2019. Her debut came a few months later, when she started Iceland's 1-0 win over Northern Ireland in March 2020. In doing so, she became her country's youngest ever goalkeeper.
In Sweden, the shot-stopper has played four Damallsvenskan games to date for Orebro, making the bench for the other eight. One of her stand-out performances of the season came against top-of-the-table Rosengard in July, with Runarsdottir making a number of excellent saves in a goalless draw with the league's high-flyers.
Under Willie Kirk, who was appointed manager in late 2018, Everton have an exciting project that will particularly appeal to young players like Runarsdottir.
Kirk has signed lots of aspiring youngsters from across Europe since joining the club, such as winger Nicoline Sorensen, defender Rikke Sevecke and striker Valerie Gauvin, all of whom had great first seasons with the Toffees.
The club’s first-choice goalkeeper, Sandy MacIver, signed last January after finishing college in America and has quickly established herself as one of the best goalkeepers in the WSL. She has since made her senior England debut and is at the Olympic Games with Great Britain, too.
Goal understands that as well as Everton and West Ham, Sassuolo and Benfica were also interested in Runarsdottir.