Arsenal have agreed a deal with Brentford for David Raya – and it's an extremely unusual move.
The Gunners have confirmed that their No.2 keeper, United States international Matt Turner, has left for Nottingham Forest, paving the way for Raya to join. The Spaniard has worked previously with Arsenal's goalkeeping coach Inaki Cana, with Cana said to be influential in this move.
Arsenal have previously been interested in Raya a number of times but given that they now have Aaron Ramsdale between the sticks, the need for another goalkeeper is minimal. Nevertheless, the Gunners appear to have struck the perfect deal.
David Ornstein of the Athletic has revealed that Raya is set to move across London on loan for an initial £3 million fee, with Arsenal retaining the option to sign the Brentford custodian for £27m come the end of the season, should they wish.
Raya was out of contract at the Gtech Community Stadium at the end of the season but has signed an extension to make the move happen. This means that Arsenal now have a year to rotate between Raya and Ramsdale before deciding who to keep – presumably, with Ramsdale able to command a big fee if he is sold.
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The move is extremely unusual for the Premier League, with very few first-choice players joining other sides on loan between with such a big option-to-buy clause. Given that very few clubs ever have two goalkeepers of this calibre for longer than a year, Arsenal have managed to broker the perfect deal to satisfy both players.
With Cana said to be Raya's "mentor" and Ramsdale being a valued member of Mikel Arteta's leadership group, Arsenal now have the best of both worlds, with Arteta being able to switch between two stylistically similar keepers between competitions.
Raya previously rejected a move to Tottenham Hotspur, according to reports.
The 27-year-old is valued by Transfermarkt to be worth €30m.
More Arsenal stories
Arsenal transfer news is ramping up this summer, with the Gunners spending £200m early in the window. The Gunners could be targeting two more Manchester City players, according to reports. Xavi Simons is on the radar and Ivan Fresneda could join, though Arsenal could sell £100m worth of players, too. Romeo Lavia is in the crosshairs – though Liverpool want him, too. Takehiro Tomiyasu is set for an "intriguing switch", while Moises Caicedo looks Chelsea-bound.
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Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. An encyclopedia of football shirts and boots knowledge – both past and present – Mark has also been to the FA Cup and League Cup finals for FFT and has written pieces for the mag ranging on subjects from Bobby Robson's season at Barcelona to Robinho's career. He once saw Tyrone Mings at a petrol station in Bournemouth but felt far too short to ask for a photo.