Arsenal star's agent reveals Gunners beat Tottenham Hotspur, Man Utd, Bayern & Chelsea to summer signing
David Raya has replaced Aaron Ramsdale as Arsenal’s first choice goalkeeper in the early stages of the season.
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David Raya was signed by Arsenal on a £3m season-long loan deal from Brentford which also includes an option to make the move permanent for a further £27m at the end of the season.
The transfer raised eyebrows at the time given the calibre of Aaron Ramsdale’s performances last season with the England international earning a place in the Premier League Team of the Season.
Since arriving at the club, Raya has displaced Ramsdale as the first choice shot-stopper, but has come under fire for some of his inconsistent performances in recent weeks.
However, Raya’s agent Junell Munell claims he was not surprised at Arsenal’s decision to sign the goalkeeper and explains that he has been on their radar since 2021, before Ramsdale’s move to the Emirates Stadium.
Speaking to AFTV, Munell explained: “Arsenal showed interest for the first time three years ago in 2021. They tried to buy him but Brentford didn’t want to sell him at any price.”
At the time Raya had just guided the Bees into the Premier League for the first time since 1947 - keeping an incredible 16 clean sheets in the process as his team won promotion via the play-offs. Meanwhile, Ramsdale had just suffered his second consecutive relegation with Sheffield United and was seen as the cheaper alternative at the time to compete with Bernd Leno.
Munell claimed that Raya had never left Arsenal’s radar and was viewed as a priority, even after the failed move. He added: “After they bought Ramsdale that was an easier option but David has always been the priority. This summer, he had just one year left on his contract with Brentford and Arsenal was the club that showed the most concrete interest and have always been our priority.”
Munell revealed that Arsenal beat a number of clubs to signing his client this summer including London rivals Chelsea and Tottenham, along with Manchester United and Bayern Munich. He explained: “Tottenham also was interested and made an official bid but it was refused because was lower than the €40m [£34.9m] that Brentford wanted to sell him, also Bayern Munich was interested and had an amazing offer but with no buy option included and for this reason, we’ve not accepted it.
“Bayern Munich didn’t understand our refusal because they thought that Raya would have been the backup keeper at Arsenal but as you can see it’s not like this. Also Manchester United and Chelsea made an inquiry but nothing concrete.”
Munell credited Arsenal’s coaching team and claimed that goalkeeping coach, Inaki Cana, was a key part of Raya’s decision to move to the Emirates Stadium.
He added: "The formula of the deal is a loan with the option to buy, Arsenal had some Financial Fair Play issues and this is the reason why they haven’t bought him with permanent transfer.
"Arsenal is a team with a lot of quality and a lot of young players trained by a top coach Mikel Arteta, they have maximum ambition. Arsenal have a clear identity, and a clear style of play that really works, as you can see by the results.
"Last year they were close to winning the Premier League, I believe that this year they can win it and try to win the Champions League, it’s tough but they have the quality and the ambition to try to do it. Inaki and Arteta were key for the deal, they have been determined for the choice that we made to play for Arsenal, the club have a project and a philosophy that fit completely for David."