Fabrizio Romano has claimed how Arsenal fared in the Gunners’ talks with David Raya as manager Mikel Arteta targets a transfer to Emirates Stadium for the Brentford star.
The transfer reporter has now told Caught Offside that Arsenal have spoken directly to Raya about his potential move. Arteta has identified the 27-year-old as a viable target for a switch to north London as he pushes to secure competition between the sticks for Aaron Ramsdale.
Arteta only signed Ramsdale from Sheffield United two years ago for an upfront £24m, rising to £30m. The Spaniard pushed all summer to get the shot-stopper and also quickly dropped Bernd Leno to make Ramsdale their number one. He has since been a vital player at Arsenal.
Arsenal hold talks with Raya about the Brentford star’s transfer
Ramsdale’s status as the undisputed first-choice at Arsenal may come under threat if Raya agrees to a transfer from Brentford. The Spaniard was a vital reason to the Bees finishing the 2022/23 Premier League season in ninth place. He kept 12 clean sheets in 38 appearances.
Raya also attempted more passes (1,475) than any other goalkeeper in the English top-flight last term, per WhoScored. Ramsdale (934) ranked in 10th place and he only completed 138 long passes to Raya’s 410. The Gunners star also misplaced eight short passes to Raya’s 15.
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Now, Arsenal are advancing their interest in Raya and have spoken directly to the Brentford stopper about a transfer. Talks between the two parties were also positive with the two-cap Spain star eager to switch to Emirates Stadium. He also favours Arsenal over Bayer Munich.
But the future of Ramsdale’s current understudy could play a large factor in the progress of any move. The potential transfer from Arsenal to Nottingham Forest for Matt Turner is now a domino that Arteta needs to fall into place to make any further progress over signing Raya.
How much are Arsenal ready to bid for the goalkeeper’s switch?
Bayern Munich have also explored a move from Brentford for Raya this summer as Der FCB target Manuel Neuer’s heir. But The Guardian reported at the end of July that the Bees had rejected the record Bundesliga champions’ approach for a loan and it put any talks on hold.
The Guardian also cited Arsenal’s interest in possibly signing Raya and added that Brentford value him at £40m. But Calciomercato reports that the Gunners are set to make Brentford a €30m (£25.5m) bid. Inaki Cana, Arsenal’s goalkeeping coach, also supports a move for Raya.
Arsenal are likely opening negotiations for Raya’s transfer below Brentford’s valuation as he is out of contract in June 2024. But he is an integral piece in Bees boss Thomas Frank’s side. Raya was also among the Premier League’s best goalkeepers during the 2022/23 campaign.
“I have longed thought he was a top-class goalkeeper,” Michael Owen said on Premier League Productions (06/03/23, 19:35). “I think he is top-class, I think he is one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League. But I am sure there are a lot of clubs watching him.”