Exclusive - Arsenal are preparing to raid Championship promotion hopefuls Brentford for star duo
Saïd Benrahma and David Raya.
The Bees were defeated in the Championship play-off final by Fulham last month, and failure to secure promotion to the Premier League means the club are willing to listen to offers for their top stars, should their valuations be met.
Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta has already recruited Brentford's head of set pieces and individual development Andreas Georgson - having already taken goalkeeping coach Inaki Cana across the capital - and it's on their advice that the club are preparing offers for both players.
A source has confirmed to 90min that Raya is being targeted as a potential replacement for Emiliano Martinez, while 25-year-old Benrahma has also been recommended after a number of standout showings during the 2019/20 season.
Arsenal opted to start Martinez in Saturday's Community Shield victory over Liverpool, and the Argentine has largely been impressive between the sticks after replacing the injured Bernd Leno in June. But with funding stretched at the club, he could be sold to finance other moves and is keen on establishing himself as a first-choice goalkeeper.
A £10m bid from Aston Villa is thought to be incoming, although the Gunners are holding out for closer to double that amount. Raya, meanwhile, worked closely with Cana at Brentford, and his impressive form throughout last season has earned plenty of admirers.
Brentford ultimately fell short in their quest for Premier League promotion, but Arteta trusts the judgment that Raya's displays last season are worthy of taking over as Leno's understudy.
As for Benrahma, he dazzled in the second tier last season, prompting interest from fellow Premier League quintet Chelsea, West Ham, Aston Villa, Crystal Palace and Leeds.
The 25-year-old only moved to England from Nice in 2018, but registered 27 goal involvements last term - making up one third of the Bees' feared 'BMW' frontline, alongside Bryan Mbeumo and Ollie Watkins.
With interest high, Arsenal are now ready to enter the fray and meet Brentford's £25m asking price. So far this summer, just £7.2m has been spent on the permanent transfer of Pablo Mari, though the club are close to wrapping up a £27m deal for Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes
He's expected to join the club in the coming days, while Rob Holding and Sokratis Papastathopoulos are heading for the Emirates Stadium exit door.
Source : 90min