Thomas Frank cheekily referenced a Chelsea deal when quoting two different valuations for a wantaway Brentford star on Man Utd and Tottenham’s radars.
Brentford’s two most impressive performers since winning promotion to the Premier League in 2021 have unquestionably been goalkeeper David Raya and striker Ivan Toney.
The former, 27, was named in Spain’s squad for the Qatar World Cup at the expense of higher profile keepers, not least David de Gea.
Raya has been linked with displacing De Gea at club level too. Indeed, if De Gea is unwilling to accept a huge pay-cut due to Erik ten Hag’s ‘Ronaldo rule’, United may swap one Spanish stopper for another.
Raya has also been touted alongside a move to north London. Tottenham have their own goalkeeping conundrum to solve amid the increasingly dire form of Hugo Lloris.
The veteran Frenchman leads the league in direct errors leading to a goal this season with four. No other player in any position has made more than two.
Raya’s current deal with Brentford is due to expire in the summer of 2024. However, he recently put the cat amongst the pigeons when talking up an exit at season’s end.
Raya warming to Brentford exit?
“I don’t think it’s the right time to sign a contract at the moment,” said Raya after rejecting a second Brentford extension offer.
“I’m really, really happy and right now I’m just thinking about doing the best for the team and trying to push for Europe.
“I was offered a new contract last year and one in January but we didn’t reach an agreement. I would like to see what happens in summer, however I’m happy at Brentford.
“For now a new contract is secondary, the most important thing is the team and the games. We’ll see where we are in May.
“You never know what’s around the corner. There’s nothing I can say about what’s going to happen in the summer. I don’t even know what’s going to happen on Saturday.”
At 27, Raya is only now just entering his prime as a goalkeeper. He’s Premier League proven and would represent a fantastic signing for many a side further up the league.
However, buying from within the Premier League generally comes at a premium. What’s more, Bees boss Thomas Frank is seemingly of the opinion Chelsea have inflated the goalkeeping market.
Frank wants £70m, but contract status prompts reduced valuation
The Dane referenced Chelsea’s £71.6m move for Kepa Arrizabalaga back in 2019. The transfer fee was and remains the highest ever paid for a goalkeeper.
With that in mind, Frank believes Raya is worth around £70m too, though given his stopper’s contract is winding down, he’ll be happy enough to receive £40m instead.
“I think if [Raya] turns [the contract] down twice then unfortunately that’s a signal,” admitted Frank (via the Manchester Evening News).
“We made two really good offers but that’s fine, it’s a free world. We can’t force anyone.
“I hope he will stay forever but it looks like it could be difficult with the contract situation.
“He must be at least £40 million plus. If he had three years [on his contract], it would be £70 million.
“How much was Kepa [Arrizabalaga]? He is at least as good as him.”
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