Arsenal managed to beat a number of clubs to the signature of Brentford goalkeeper David Raya, according to CBS Sports reporter James Benge.
The journalist claims that Chelsea had “personal terms lined up” in anticipation of signing the 27-year-old but they were unable to lower Brentford’s £40m asking price.
Tottenham and Bayern Munich were also keen on recruiting Raya, but the Gunners ultimately won the battle, whilst getting a slight discount on his original valuation too.
It is expected that the London club will pay around £30m in total for the Spanish international. Documents are now being signed with the transfer set to be announced imminently.
Goalkeeping coach Inaki Cana is known to have had a key role in Arsenal’s pursuit of Raya. He had worked with him at Brentford and that led to the Gunners’ original attempt to buy the player two years ago.
However, Benge claims that Mikel Arteta has played an equally influential figure in persuading the shot-stopper to make the move to the Emirates.
The Arsenal manager is thought to have told Raya that his addition would “take the team up another level.” Those remarks may not go down well with Aaron Ramsdale.
Competition to be Arsenal’s No.1
When we assessed the strengths and weaknesses of the two keepers in a post a couple of weeks ago, it was clear that Raya is an upgrade on Ramsdale.
The England international has already said that he is up for the fight as his starting place comes under threat. However, you do get the feeling that, like with Bernd Leno before him, Ramsdale could be relegated to the bench if he doesn’t start the season strongly.
Keeping both Ramsdale and Raya happy is going to be a very tough ask, even for someone like Arteta who is known for his strong man-management skills.