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Leboeuf blasts Raya’s move to Arsenal: Players ‘don’t want to play football!’ (0:51)

Frank Leboeuf explains why he doesn’t understand David Raya’s move from Brentford to Arsenal. (0:51)

James Olley, Senior Writer, ESPN FCAug 8, 2023, 01:17 PM ET

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James Olley is a senior soccer writer for ESPN.com. Read his archive here and follow him on Twitter: @JamesOlley.

Arsenal have agreed a fee close to £30 million ($38.2m) for Brentford goalkeeper David Raya, sources have told ESPN.

Personal terms are being finalised and the 27-year-old is set to become the Gunners’ fourth summer signing after Declan Rice, Jurriën Timber and Kai Havertz.

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Raya’s signing will take the club’s summer spending to more £230m and he will replace USMNT international Matt Turner, who has agreed a deal worth up to £10m to join Nottingham Forest.

The club’s interest in Raya dates back to 2020 but their move three years on is something of a surprise given Aaron Ramsdale had established himself as the club’s number one goalkeeper in last season’s unexpected Premier League title challenge.

Reacting to speculation that Raya could rival him at Emirates Stadium for a starting spot, Ramsdale told ITV Sport: “Bring it on. Nothing comes easy in football. At the same time you need to move along and adapt as well. I’ve done it to other people when I’ve moved clubs. So I’m not going to be thinking that’s it’s never going to happen to me.

“If it happens, it happens and then we’ll fight and we’ll make each other the best version of ourselves because that’s what the manager is telling us as well.

“And I’m sure whoever plays, me or whoever comes in, the goalkeeping union people laugh at but it’s a real thing and your individual disappointment will go away. You will put the team first and you’ll put that goalkeeper first as well.”