Manchester United have been heavily linked with Brentford goalkeeper David Raya, but team-mate Ivan Toney could represent a better signing for Erik ten Hag this summer, provided the striker does not receive a ban. The Red Devils are one of several clubs monitoring the Spaniard’s contract situation in west London after Raya entered the final 18 months of his contract at the Gtech Community Stadium.
United believe Raya could be a long-term successor to David de Gea at Old Trafford as they consider offering their current No.1 a new deal.
The lack of firm competition between the posts has meant De Gea is comfortable with Erik ten Hag and it’s clear why United could prioritize signing a new goalkeeper this summer.
However, an even bigger priority position is centre-forward, with Ten Hag set to add a marquee No.9 to their squad in what could prove to be the final piece of the puzzle.
While Harry Kane and Victor Osimhen have been heavily linked, Brentford’s Toney could prove to be a smart, cheaper alternative.
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The Bees have never been deterred by the thought of losing their best players as they have had great success recruiting talent in recent times.
Neal Maupay, Ollie Watkins and Said Benrahma have all been moved for respectable fees during the Thomas Frank era and yet, Brentford continue to improve and evolve under the Dane.
Toney has been instrumental in bettering last season’s tally (12 goals) in the Premier League this season after hitting the back of the net 13 times in the top flight.
At the current rate, Toney is on course for 26 domestic goals, which would be a phenomenal return for a player who was playing in Ligue 1 just three years ago.
It just goes to show that every time Toney has stepped up a level, he’s taken it in his stride and continually improved, which would suggest he’s more than capable of making the jump to United.
He scored 33 Championship goals to fire Brentford to promotion in 2020/21 and is now among the Premier League’s top scorers.
If United want to open transfer talks with Brentford, they should seriously consider prioritizing a move for Toney over Raya, especially given that they are unlikely to get both.
There’s no doubt that Raya would also be a top-class signing, but unless United are prepared to ditch De Gea, it seems futile to bring in his compatriot to potentially sit on the bench.
Instead, Toney is a ready-made starter for United and a monumental upgrade from current loanee Wout Weghorst.
If he escapes FA punishment for alleged breaches of betting rules, he should certainly be on United’s summer transfer list.