Arsenal have informed David Raya they intend to activate the £27m purchase clause inserted into their loan agreement with Brentford, 90min understands.
Raya was determined to leave the Bees during the summer 2023 transfer window after four years of service in west London, citing a desire to compete for titles and in Europe.
He was a key target for Tottenham Hotspur upon Ange Postecoglou’s appointment as head coach, but they were unable to agree a fee with Brentford and instead signed Guglielmo Vicario.
Bayern Munich then entered the race for Raya but they too were reluctant to meet Brentford’s demands, while the Spaniard’s agent has also confirmed Chelsea and Manchester United registered an initial interest in their respective searches for new goalkeepers.
After they were unable to sign Raya in 2020, Arsenal pushed ahead with a move again this summer. They reached an agreement worth £30m in total with Brentford, though the deal was structured in a way to help the Gunners meet Financial Fair Play regulations, with Raya joining on loan with an option to buy.
Arteta intends to keep Raya / Marc Atkins/GettyImages
Sources have confirmed to 90min that, as has long been expected, Arsenal will trigger this clause and Raya will become a permanent member of Mikel Arteta’s playing squad.
Brentford have maintained an open dialogue with Arsenal since Raya made the switch to the Emirates Stadium and they too believed a transfer would go through eventually. Raya’s contract at the Gtech Community Stadium was set to expire in 2024, and though he signed a one-year extension before leaving on this loan, there was no expectation he would return to the Bees.
90min understands Arsenal are likely activate this clause next summer, but there is a possibility of it being triggered beforehand. However, with the Gunners looking to bring in a new midfielder and perhaps a forward in January, they can afford to wait.
Raya initially served as Aaron Ramsdale’s understudy but has played every Premier League and Champions League game for Arsenal since the conclusion of the September international break.
Ramdale’s relegation to the bench was seen as controversial in some corners of the media and has only been complicated by Raya’s poor run of form to begin his Arsenal career.
The England international has a chance to stake a claim for the starting spot again when Arsenal travel to Brentford in the Premier League on Saturday evening, with Raya ineligible to face his parent club.