Brentford boss Thomas Frank insists Arsenal target David Raya is not for sale

Brentford boss Thomas Frank insists Arsenal target David Raya is not for sale
The Spaniard is wanted as a replacement for the departing Emiliano Martinez (Picture: Getty)

Brentford boss Thomas Frank has made it clear that goalkeeper David Raya will not be allowed to leave the Championship club this summer despite significant interest from Arsenal.

The Gunners are on the verge of letting Emiliano Martinez leave the Emirates, with Aston Villa having made a £15million offer for the Argentine who is desperate for more regular game time.

Mikel Arteta could not offer Martinez any assurances over his place in the side this coming season despite his heroics after the restart, with Bernd Leno set to continue as the club’s undisputed number one.

Emiliano Martinez Arsenal Training Session
Martinez is on the verge of joining Villa as he looks for more regular game time (Picture: Getty)

That leaves Arsenal in need of a new backup goalkeeper and they have identified Spanish shot-stopper Raya – who counts as being homegrown – as their top target for the role.

However, Brentford have already sold Ollie Watkins to Villa for £28m while star man Said Benrahma is being chased by a host of clubs, with the Championship outfit making it clear that they are not prepared to lose any more players beyond that duo.

Asked about players potentially leaving, Frank told reporters at his pre-match press conference on Friday: ‘No doubt that [owner] Matthew Benham and [Co-Directors of Football] Phil Giles and Rasmus Ankerson and I, that’s the good thing, we take the decisions together.

‘I said one week ago that if the price is right for Ollie Watkins or Said Benrahma, we are open, because that’s the way football works. The rest are not for sale.’

Asked to clarify if that meant Raya was not for sale, he responded bluntly: ‘I would like to repeat myself. If the price is right for Ollie Watkins and Said Benrahma, then they are for sale. The rest are not for sale.’

The news will be a blow to Raya and Arsenal, with the Spaniard having been very keen to make the step up to the Premier League with the Gunners.

David Raya Brentford v Swansea City - Sky Bet Championship Play Off Semi-final 2nd Leg
Frank does not want to lose Raya on top of Watkins and Benrahma (Picture: Getty)

Arteta is believed to be a big fan of his compatriot while he has been personally recommended by Arsenal’s goalkeeping coach Inaki Cana, who worked with Raya at Brentford before being poached by the north London club.

Raya’s agent previously said he was prepared to do ‘what is necessary’ to secure a transfer this summer, and the onus will now be on the 24-year-old to push for the move and even hand in a transfer request.

MORE: Mikel Arteta outlines Arsenal’s transfer plans but avoids Houssem Aouar question

MORE: David Raya to push for Arsenal transfer as Emiliano Martinez nears exit

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