Arsenal line up transfer of Brentford goalkeeper David Raya amid Bernd Leno exit links
According to football.london, Arsenal are considering reviving their interest in Brentford goalkeeper David Raya to replace Bernd Leno amid speculation of a move away from the Emirates Stadium.
Mikel Arteta is eager to strengthen his options between the sticks in the summer transfer window with no trusted back-up option currently in north London, but will turn attentions to a new number one if Leno leaves.
The German has insisted he is still happy at Arsenal but is open to exploring a new challenge with the club willing to sell for the right fee, while efforts are expected to be made to move Alex Runarsson on and retain Mat Ryan beyond his loan spell from Brighton & Hove Albion.
Ryan is unlikely to serve as Arsenal’s new number one next season if a deal with the Seagulls is secured, but could have a future in north London as the understudy having impressed Arteta in training.
Several options are under consideration to replace Leno if the 29-year-old, who they signed for £22million (Standard) in 2018, is indeed sold, with Raya among the candidates to have been explored.
Arsenal had attempted to sign Raya last summer but saw a £10m (Telegraph) offer turned down by his Championship side, as Brentford were insistent that the Spaniard would only leave if the 25-year-old was then loaned back for the 2020/21 campaign.
The Gunners were reluctant to send Raya back out on loan as they intended to integrate him into Arteta’s side, with the shot-stopper willing to compete with Leno for the number one shirt, but have retained their interest with Raya also considered a key target in January.
It is evident that Arsenal rate Raya’s ability highly having considered his services for three windows running, but it remains to be seen if they elect to pursue the Barcelona-born ‘keeper in the summer and if Brentford are willing to do business.
The Gunners’ efforts could also be thwarted if the Bees succeed in securing promotion into the Premier League via the Championship play-offs, having secured a third-placed finish with Raya ranking fifth across the division for clean sheets with 16 in 42 appearances.
Brentford and head coach Thomas Frank would undoubtedly be reluctant to sell Raya if top-flight football is on its way, with the Bees boss lauding his shot-stopper as ‘possibly the best’ in the Championship (BT) and praising him for his ‘top’ efforts this season.
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