Brentford boss Thomas Frank has clever plan to stop David Raya joining Man Utd or Chelsea | Football | Sport
Brentford manager Thomas Frank has joked that David Raya could decide to snub a move to either Manchester United or Chelsea in the summer if the Bees manage to qualify for next season’s Champions League. Raya is widely expected to leave Brentford at some point in the not-too-distant future after rejecting at least two new contract offers in recent months and is said to be a target for some of the Premier League’s best sides.
United are thought to have taken a liking to Raya as Erik ten Hag weighs up a move for a new man between the sticks to replace David de Gea on a long-term basis, while Chelsea have also been linked with the Spaniard’s signature over the last few weeks. Frank was asked about Raya’s future ahead of Friday’s meeting with Everton and said that although he would love to keep him around for as long as possible, the Bees would likely need to qualify for Europe in order to stop him from seeking a move elsewhere.
“I think we need to get into the Champions League and then he would consider it,” said Frank. “I love David as a keeper. I think he is fantastic. Of course I am biased because I work with him every single day, but I really believe he is one of the best in the Premier League. He is top three or top five.
“Right now he is a Brentford player and he is a big part of our success. Let’s see what is happening in the summer. If someone wants to come and buy him, he is very expensive. For me, at least £40million plus, no doubt about that.
JUST IN: Chelsea fans send letter to Todd Boehly over ticket prices
“We are lucky enough, so prepared in any position. No matter what happens, we will be able to at least contact a player. They don’t always want to come, but we do our best to persuade them. Of course, we are prepared for any scenario.”
Raya’s preference would reportedly be to join a club at which he can play Champions League football ahead of next season in order to test himself at the highest possible level. He is also eager to stay in and around the Spain squad and needs regular playing time to do so, which suggests that he would only entertain the idea of signing for United or Chelsea if he is given assurances that he would not simply be drafted in as a back-up option.
The Brentford stopper is admired for his ability to play the ball out with his feet, which has been a major factor in shaping his relative success with the west Londoners since their promotion to the Premier League two seasons ago. He recently detailed the work behind his outstanding distribution in an interview with The Guardian by explaining that he developed his skills while playing futsal in his hometown of Barcelona.
“I used to play in any position except under the goal,” said Raya. “I liked to touch the ball a lot, to be part of every play. I guess that’s where the skill I have with my feet comes from, and in modern football that is what is demanded of a goalkeeper.
“I’ve been working on coming out from the back since I was a child but now I’m trying to perfect it. I do rondos, things like that. It forces me to be cold-blooded and to have a lot of confidence in myself.
“You’re always exposed to making a mistake, but I have to be calm enough not to get down when that happens. I know that this ability with my feet is something that sets me apart and I repeat to myself that I have to learn to forget the bad moments.”
Want the latest Premier League news as we publish it on Express Sport? Join our Facebook group by clicking here.