One of Brentford’s big-name stars appears destined to leave the club in 2023 after rejecting another new contract proposal to all-but secure a summer move away from Thomas Frank’s side.
The Bees adapted to life in the Premier League with ease upon promotion to the top tier in the summer of 2021. Finishing an impressive 13th, the west London side more than proved themselves capable of mixing it with the big boys.
And while some suggested their second season among the elite might be more of a struggle, Frank’s side are currently eighth, having suffered just four losses in their 20 games to date.
As it stands, they look well on course to secure a top-half finish in the Premier League. And if they can maintain their form, then a potential push for Europe is not out the question.
As such, it is little wonder to see Danish coach Frank earning plenty of plaudits. He has been tentatively linked with the Everton managerial vacancy, though those reports were quickly nipped in the bud.
It’s not just Frank gaining interest though either. A clutch of his Brentford stars are also drawing admiring glances from elsewhere. Star striker Ivan Toney, for example, has been on the periphery of the England squad. And his 13 goals from 18 games so far have seen him linked with the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal.
However, Toney loosk likely to be beaten out the Brentford exit door by goalkeeper David Raya.
The goalkeeper is now regarded as one of the best stoppers in the Premier League following some exceptional displays.
A fine player with the ball at his feet too, it is easy to see why he is held in such high regard.
Man Utd leading chase for David Raya
That form has seen him linked with moves to Tottenham and Chelsea, both of whom are in the market for new keepers this summer.
Spurs are seeking a long-term replacement for Hugo Lloris and a report earlier this month named him as their No 1 target.
There is also interest from Graham Potter’s Chelsea too. The Blues are likely to move Edouard Mendy on this summer, while doubts also surround the long-term future of Kepa Arrizabalaga.
As such, a short move across London has also been reported as an option this summer.
However, the strongest interest arguably comes from Manchester United.
Erik ten Hag is looking to bring in a new goalkeeper this summer with doubts continuing to linger over David De Gea. The long-serving United No 1 is out of contract this summer, though the club do hold an option to extend that by a year.
But United want De Gea to accept a new deal on a reduced salary first. And should an agreement fail to be reached, he may yet depart Old Trafford as a free agent this summer.
Raya snubs new Brentford contract
That will present Ten Hag a chance to pounce for Raya, having also usurped De Gea in the Spain squad.
Now Ten Hag’s hopes of luring him away from Brentford have received a significant lift.
That’s after DAZN journalist Alvaro de Grado reported that Raya has rejected Brentford’s latest offer of a new deal.
It is the second time he has rejected the Bees’ offer of fresh terms. And with his current deal due to expire in summer 2024, Brentford will now look to cash in this summer. Indeed, per de Grado, that is now the most likely scenario for Raya.
The 27-year-old is reportedly valued in the £25m bracket by the Bees. However, the strong interest in him could yet push that fee sigificantly higher.
It’s believed that Raya feels he wants a fresh challenge this summer after proving his quality in the Premier League. His absence will leave Frank with a sizeable hole to fill. But, given their impressive recruitment in recent years, will not be an impossible one either.
Should Raya join United, he will become the second Brentford star to make the move in successive years. Christian Eriksen also swapped west London for Salford, having come to the end of his short-term Bees deal in July.