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UPDATE: Arsenal, Brentford agree to David Raya transfer

The goalkeeping carousel keeps turning in North London.

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Brentford FC v Fulham FC - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Arsenal are “very close” to signing David Raya from Brentford despite having their initial bid rejected, reports CBS Sports. Not surprisingly, the offer was below what Brentford are asking for the Spanish keeper, but it seems as if the clubs will find a middle ground. Raya is out of contract at the end of the season, has expressed he wants a move to a bigger club, and has indicated he wants to play for Arsenal.

UPDATE: Arsenal and Brentford have agreed to a David Raya transfer for “around £30m” according to The Athletic. Raya is expected to sign a 5-year contract with the Gunners with an option for a sixth season.

Brentford’s hands are tied. They don’t want (nor can they really afford) to let one of their best, most valuable players leave for free next summer. The Bees demanded £40M from Tottenham for Raya earlier in the summer, a price that Spurs balked at. Recent reporting suggests that Brentford have lowered their asking price to £30M.

The Gunners reportedly offered £23M. My gut tells me the deal will be worth £25-27M, which would be an excellent price. Arsenal will get up to £10M for Matt Turner from Nottingham Forest, and if you add the £5M for Auston Trusty from Sheffield United, you’re more than halfway to the Raya fee. Those smaller sales matter!

Raya will reunite with goalkeeper coach Inaki Cana, who had him at Brentford. From there, it will be open competition for the #1 spot at the Emirates. Aaron Ramsdale will begin the season as the starter, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Raya get the Champions League group stage matches. You’d expect both keepers to push each other, and with two top keepers at his disposal, Mikel Arteta should be pretty quick to drop one should his form dip.

Nothing in Scott’s thread above changes my take. Raya is slightly better than Ramsdale right now. He’s elite with the ball at his feet, a bit better stopping shots, and doesn’t make as many killer mistakes. But Ramsdale has the higher ceiling. Ramsdale is three years younger (24 to Raya’s 27), physically bigger, and more athletic. He should continue to improve, and if that improvement includes cutting down on the gaffes, he’ll wind up better.

Aaron Ramsdale just signed a new, four-year contract to keep him at Arsenal through 2027. David Raya, whose contract expires this summer, will sign a new deal upon joining. The more I think about the long term planning, the more I like it. Both will next be out of contract around the same time. In the interim, Arsenal can decide which the club prefer and sell the other. Both will still have plenty of value in a few years and should return significant fees that the club.

And in the short term, Arsenal have two of the best 5 to 8 goalkeepers in the Premier League. Keep cooking, Edu and Mikel.