Thomas Frank confirms imminent David Raya move to Arsenal

Brentford head coach Thomas Frank confirms that goalkeeper David Raya is set to sign for Arsenal on an initial £3m loan with a £27m option to buy in 2024.

Brentford boss Thomas Frank has confirmed that goalkeeper David Raya is on his way to sign for Arsenal.

The Spain international has entered the final year of his contract with the Bees, who had initially shown no intention of budging on their £40m asking price.

Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur both dropped their interest in Raya after learning of Brentford’s demands, while the goalkeeper had no interest in a move to Bayern Munich either.

As a result, Arsenal jumped to the head of the queue and are believed to have agreed a deal to sign Raya on an initial loan for £3m, which includes an option to make his stay permanent for £27m next summer.

The deal has been structured in such a way to help Arsenal comply with Financial Fair Play regulations, and all parties expect Raya to join the Gunners permanently in 2024.

Brentford manager Thomas Frank applauds fans after the match on May 14, 2023© Reuters

Frank was inevitably asked about Raya’s impending move to Arsenal during Friday’s press conference, and the Dane confessed that the 27-year-old would soon be bidding his farewells.

“We all know there have been a lot of rumours. I expect that deal will soon be completed with Arsenal,” Frank told reporters ahead of Brentford’s Premier League opener with Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

“He is not here at the moment and he won’t be involved on Sunday. We are out there seeing if there is one player we want, but we are not in a rush, not in a need.”

Raya will compete with Aaron Ramsdale for the number one spot at Arsenal following Matt Turner‘s permanent exit to Nottingham Forest, and Mikel Arteta was also quizzed on the rumours on Friday.

Brentford's David Raya on May 20, 2023© Reuters

However, the 41-year-old – as ever – remained tight-lipped on any potential arrivals, telling the press: “No. We have no news on any incomings.”

Raya has played a crucial role in Brentford’s rise from a Championship team to an established Premier League outfit since 2019, having previously turned out for Blackburn Rovers.

The Spaniard has kept 54 clean sheets in 161 appearances for the Bees, including 12 in 38 Premier League matches last term to help Frank’s side achieve a top-half finish.

Raya will become Arsenal’s fourth signing of the summer window after Jurrien Timber, Declan Rice and Kai Havertz, but Ramsdale will still be expected to start Saturday’s top-flight opener against Nottingham Forest.

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