Man Utd trumped as Brentford announce arrival of Thomas Strakosha on long-term contract

Thomas Strakosha

Brentford have beaten Manchester United to the signing of Thomas Strakosha as the goalkeeper has penned a four-year deal with the Bees.

United were in talks with Strakosha over a move to Old Trafford last week. They were keen to make him David de Gea’s backup, following Dean Henderson’s loan switch to Nottingham Forest.

But Brentford got in the mix for Strakosha on Monday and soon put themselves in a great position for his signing.

Thomas Frank’s side didn’t have to deal with his former club, Lazio, after his contract with the Italian side expired.

And Brentford have now revealed the 27-year-old as their latest signing. He follows Aaron Hickey and Keane Lewis-Potter to the Community Stadium.

Strakosha will compete with David Raya for a spot in the Brentford starting eleven.

Reacting to the transfer, Frank told club media: “I am pleased that we have managed to sign a top goalkeeper. He has been number one at Lazio for a long time, which is very impressive.

“He has played in Serie A and European competition and will bring that experience with him.

Brentford coaches ‘very pleased’ with Thomas Strakosha move

“He fits our goalkeeper model and comes in to a good environment with David Raya and Matthew Cox pushing each other every day.”

Brentford’s goalkeeper coach Manu Sotelo said: “I’m very pleased that Thomas has joined us. With him in our goalkeeper union, we will have a nice competition that will provide a step up for everyone. Thomas is an experienced goalkeeper who has played a lot in Serie A and for Albania.

“He fits perfectly with the sort of goalkeeper we want here. He can give us a lot of solutions playing from the back, he is an outstanding shot stopper and is very good positionally.

“When we spoke to him, he showed his desire to come and work hard to make himself and our other goalkeepers better.”

Strakosha moving to west London is another transfer embarrassment for United. They have already lost out on Malcolm Ebiowei to Crystal Palace.

In this case, Brentford are getting a full Albania international with 19 caps to his name. Strakosha also has experience playing in the Europa League and has made one Champions League appearance – making it an impressive capture from the Bees.