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May 25, 2024
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Arsenal makes opening offer for Brentford’s David Raya

David Raya to Arsenal

Arsenal are said to have made an initial approach for Brentford custodian David Raya.

After helping to establish Brentford as a top-half Premier League side in 2022-23, the Spain international has been on the radar of several prominent clubs this summer.

Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur were said to be interested in Raya early in the transfer window before moving on to Andre Onana and Guglielmo Vicario, respectively.

Following the withdrawal of the two Big Six clubs, Bayern Munich – who may lose Yann Sommer to Inter Milan as a replacement for Onana – appeared to leap to the front of the queue.

However, speculations in recent days have linked Arsenal with a surprise deal for the former Blackburn Rovers midfielder, who reportedly prefers to play at the Emirates rather than the Allianz Arena.

Raya is said to have reached an agreement with Arsenal on personal terms, and the Gunners have now approached Brentford with their initial bid, according to Fabrizio Romano.

According to Romano, Arsenal has made an initial offer of £20 million, which may grow to £23 million with performance-related add-ons, and Raya has notified Brentford of his desire to join their London rivals.

The 27-year-old is in the final year of his contract at the Gtech Community Stadium, although manager Thomas Frank has publicly said that a summer sale would net him a £40m fee.

Arsenal on the verge of signing David Raya

As a result, Arsenal’s opening bid is expected to be rejected quickly, but the Gunners will almost certainly return with a better offer as they seek to offload a slew of unwanted players in the coming weeks.

The Gunners only signed USA international custodian Matt Turner last year to serve as a backup to Aaron Ramsdale after Bernd Leno left for Fulham after losing his number one spot to the Englishman.

After the game, Arteta was questioned about his links with Raya, but the Gunners manager responded dismissively, telling reporters:

“You know that I’m not going to talk about any player that is not here, I’m sorry.”

Raya has preserved 54 clean sheets in 161 games for Brentford since joining from Blackburn in 2019, including 12 shutouts in the 2022-23 Premier League season, when he made 154 saves more than any other goalkeeper.

However, he did not play in either of Brentford’s previous two friendlies against Brighton & Hove Albion or Aston Villa, as Thomas Strakosha and new acquisition Mark Flekken alternated in goal.

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