Exclusive - Arsenal have opened talks with Brentford over a deal to bring goalkeeper David Raya to the Emirates Stadium this summer.
The Gunners are expected to bid farewell to current understudy Emiliano Martínez - whose brief stint as a starter towards the end of last season looks to have earned him a £20m move to Aston Villa - but Mikel Arteta wants a backup sorted before allowing the Argentine to leave.
24-year-old Raya sits at the top of Arteta's wish list for the role, and a source has confirmed to 90min that Arsenal have secured an open line of communication with Brentford to discuss the Spaniard's potential departure.
Raya, who counts as a homegrown player after coming through Blackburn Rovers' academy, was one of the Championship's standout performers last season, keeping 16 clean sheets to take the Bees to the playoff final, where they ultimately fell to Fulham.
Brentford are understood to be reluctant to part ways with too many of their stars this summer as they plan for a rejuvenated push for promotion, but accept that some may go. Striker Ollie Watkins has already left for Aston Villa, while Saïd Benrahma is another who has seen his future at the club called into question.
Thomas Frank has made no secret of his desire to keep Raya at Brentford, but 90min understands that he and the club would be prepared to sell Raya and Benrahma if their asking prices are met.
That has given Arsenal confidence that a deal can eventually be struck, and they have been boosted by the revelation that Raya is keen on making the move to north London.
Raya's agent, Jaume Monell, recently confirmed to Sport that he has spoken to the Gunners about a possible transfer, revealing that his client is willing to submit a transfer request to get the deal done and the pair will do 'whatever it takes' to force a move.
That stance has convinced Brentford to entertain Arsenal's interest for the time being, although the Bees are adamant they will not be forced to accept a low offer.
Source : 90min