Premier League • England

Next Arsenal signing nears as Edu submits £20m bid and target tells current club to say yes

Unai Simon, David Raya Spain

Arsenal have tabled their first official offer to Brentford for their goalkeeper David Raya, it has been revealed by Fabrizio Romano.

It has been an open secret all summer that Brentford have been inviting offers for Raya after he entered the final year of his contract. Recently, Arsenal established themselves as his potential next takers.

They currently have Aaron Ramsdale as their number one, but risk losing Matt Turner to Nottingham Forest. Therefore, they could replace Turner with Raya, who would represent sterner competition for Ramsdale in the first-choice berth.

Indeed, the plan would be for the two established Premier League goalkeepers to compete for the starting shirt.

Now, Arsenal have taken a crucial step towards the signing of Raya by putting some money on the table to Brentford. According to Romano, their proposal is worth an initial £20m, plus £3m in add-ons.

It is not yet clear whether or not Brentford – who have already signed Mark Flekken to account for their upcoming loss of Raya – will accept or reject the offer. They only received it on Thursday evening, so haven’t had too much time to respond yet.

But the player himself is keen for them to allow him to leave. In fact, Romano claims he has already agreed personal terms with Arsenal and has subsequently made it clear to Brentford that he wants them to accept the offer.

Earlier in the summer, it was claimed that Brentford’s asking price for Raya was actually closer to the £40m mark.

Arsenal sporting director Edu will be hoping he has secured a better deal, though, in order to strengthen the options available to manager Mikel Arteta.

Raya ready to add new dimension to Arsenal

Raya has been with Brentford since 2019, spending two seasons in the Championship and two in the Premier League with them so far.

He earned his first two caps for the Spanish national team last year amid a season in which he was ever-present for Brentford in the Premier League.

Regarded as one of the best around with the ball at his feet, he could add a new dimension to Arsenal’s build-up play right from where it all starts.

Raya completed 896 passes in the Premier League last season, in comparison to Ramsdale’s 592 from an identical number of appearances.

And at the age of 27, the former Blackburn Rovers product appears to be ready for the next step in his career, which could entail involvement in the Champions League if he can dislodge Ramsdale for some gametime in Europe’s top competition.

Bayern Munich were also believed to be looking at Raya as a potential long-term successor to Manuel Neuer. However, Arsenal have emerged as his preference and they will now eagerly be awaiting Brentford’s initial answer.

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