Arsenal manager Unai Emery has hinted that he would be willing to let Aaron Ramsey leave the club if the player is unwilling to sign a new contract, explaining that the 'interest of the team' will ultimately come first.
Ramsey is due to be out of contract next summer and could leave the Gunners for free unless he is sold before January or signs an extension.
Talks have been ongoing for months but no agreement has been reached. And while Emery desperately wants to keep the Welshman, whom Emery reportedly wants to make the new club captain, the new boss has acknowledged that only what is best for Arsenal will happen.
"I think my opinion is clear, I want him to be with us, but then it's one question for the player and the club. My opinion is professional and is in the interest of the team," Emery commented via Arsenal.com at a press conference following a pre-season friendly with Chelsea.
"It's one question for the club and another for the player. I am very, very concentrated and my focus is thinking everyday about the training, the players and the match on Saturday against Lazio, and then against Manchester City."
Ramsey was forced to miss the Chelsea game as a minor injury precaution and Emery was happy with what he saw from his team during the 1-1 draw in 90 minutes.
"We are very happy with the 90 minutes because I think the performance was getting better throughout the match after the first goal," he said.
"But I think it's also good because in this moment we need to stay together and react to these moments in the game, and then I think we controlled he match with possession, had good positioning on the pitch and created lots of chances which led to the goal."
Emery also confirmed that new signing Lucas Torreira will be involved for the first time in the next friendly against Lazio after reporting for duty following the World Cup.
"We also have others still to come, like Nacho Monreal, Lucas and [Granit] Xhaka, who will start to get minutes on Saturday. There is only a possibility that we sign someone if it's a good opportunity."