Following the news that contract talks had broken down between Aaron Ramsey and Arsenal officials over a new contract for the Welshman to extend his stay in north London, it has now emerged that the midfielder did not want to leave the club and it was the Gunners who decided to end negotiations.
As reported by James Benge, Ramsey’s agent confirmed through a series of tweets that his client was in fact keen to remain at Arsenal. However, the posts have since been deleted.
As reported, Aaron Ramsey's agent confirmed in a series of tweets (since deleted) that his client did not want to leave Arsenal, who have pulled the plug on talks.— James Benge (@jamesbenge) October 2, 2018
The news adds to the sense of surprise surrounding the situation. It had previously been suggested that fresh terms were even agreed in principle between player and club, before the Arsenal officials made a dramatic U-turn and opted to pull the plug on the deal.
Extending Ramsey’s deal, which expires next summer, had apparently been a priority at the club following the appointment of Unai Emery as head coach at the Emirates during the summer, with Ramsey said to have been regarded as a key figure in the Spaniard’s plans.
The developments that the eventual breakdown in talks over a new deal that was almost agreed appears even more surprising in that sense.
A new + improved 4yr contract was recently agreed between Arsenal & Aaron Ramsey. But #AFC withdrew offer, are now not in a position to proceed. Most likely he’ll leave for free next summer, unless the perfect opportunity for both parties arises in January https://t.co/5EXUoIsZx2— David Ornstein (@bbcsport_david) September 27, 2018
Questions remain over whether the decision from the club to call a halt to the negotiations was a sporting call or a financial choice, with Ramsey widely reported to be set to earn around £250k per week in any new deal, a significant rise from his current terms.
With the £350k deal which was handed to Mesut Ozil in February, and with the heavy investments in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan this year, it is widely suggested that Arsenal’s wage structure has been significantly stretched.
Whether the financial parameters of any new deal for Ramsey proved too unfeasible for the club, or whether the collapse over a new deal was due to a change of heart from Emery with regards to the 27-year-old’s importance in his team, time will only tell.