Opposing reports contest Arsenal’s stance on Brentford’s David Raya – player sanction could reignite Gunners’ interest
Arsenal wanted Brentford goalkeeper David Raya last summer. Failing in their pursuit of the Spaniard, Arsenal could yet reignite their interest in Raya as they bid for a long-term Bernd Leno back-up.
The Athletic’s David Ornstein wrote yesterday that Raya was the ‘first-choice’ successor for Emi Martinez. Aston Villa moved would sign him though after his impressive cameo for Arsenal, and Mikel Arteta had to settle on a move for Icelandic international Alex Runarsson after having a £10million bid for Raya knocked back.
Heading into this month, Arteta has a back-up goalkeeper in his sights. Runarsson is not thought to be ready to step into the Premier League just yet and his loan exit will be sanctioned this month – if Arsenal can find a replacement.
Writing on the goalkeeping matter at Arsenal, Ornstein said:
“While they (Arsenal) will again explore signing a permanent number two, if that is not possible in January, then a seasoned player may be loaned before the matter is readdressed in the summer. It is unclear if Raya, whose club are pushing for promotion to the Premier League, remains the first-choice target.”
Featuring in all 46 of Brentford’s Championship games last season and all three of their play-off games, it’d be Raya himself who’d let slip the final against Fulham. Joe Bryan fooled the Spaniard with a clever free-kick from range and the Bees have been fighting to regain their swagger since.
After a shaky start, Thomas Frank’s side are competing again and Raya has made 18 Championship appearances. Raya is again proving a solid goalkeeper but the memories of Wembley looked to have marred his and his side’s start to the season.
Picking up pace again, Raya could quite easily come back under Arsenal’s radar in this transfer window, if not then in the summer window. Arsenal sold Matt Macey last week and while Ornstein believes it is ‘unclear’ whether Raya remains a top target, The Sun believe he is, but claim a move remains unlikely with Raya having had his contract renewed last October.
Now contracted at Brentford until 2024, whether Arsenal would improve on their initial £10million bid remains to be seen. It’d no doubt take a much larger sum after his renewed contract and with Arsenal appearing to struggle in their bid for a goalkeeper, Brentford might run the price up.