Paul Merson explains why Arsenal have withdrawn Aaron Ramsey offer

The Arsenal legend believes Unai Emery is convinced he can sign a better player than Aaron Ramsey

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff
Arsenal star Aaron Ramsey Photo: New Balance

Paul Merson believes Unai Emery would prefer to recruit a new midfielder rather than hand Arsenal star Aaron Ramsey a lucrative new contract.

The Spanish head coach took over the reins of the north London outfit after Arsene Wenger stood down following 22 seasons in charge at the end of a disappointing 2017-18 season.

Ramsey’s future is still be resolved and the Wales international is set to leave the Gunners on a free transfer at the end of the current campaign unless the situation changes.

Arsenal were rumoured to have made Ramsey a contract offer but the Welsh star was thought to be keen to secure a deal in the same ball park as Mesut Ozil’s £350,000-a-week package.

However, the Gunners, who have struggled with negotiations with members of their squad over the past decade or so in the Premier League, made a statement of intent when Arsenal retracted their offer.

As a result, Ramsey will be able to talk to foreign clubs at the start of 2019, while the north London side’s Premier League rivals could sign the Wales international on a free transfer next summer.

Former Arsenal star Merson believes Emery is confident that a superior midfielder can be brought to the club rather than hand Ramsey a huge deal that impacts the manager’s ability to make quality signings.

“It seems to me that the manager has said, ‘I can get better somewhere else’,” Merson told talkSPORT.

“The contract was on the table and Arsenal withdrew it, and it sounds like to me the manager has said, ‘hold on a minute, I’m not giving him that kind of money, I can get a better player than that’.

“But giving a player £200,000-a-week is going to be a lot less than buying a £40million player and giving him £130,000-a-week.

“It’s typical Arsenal, isn’t it?

“How can they let the contract of a quality player like that run down? They’ve done it too many times now.

“When I was there, when there was 18 months or two years left on your contract you were called in for another one. My contract never, ever, went to less than 18 months at Arsenal.”

Ramsey has started seven of their eight Premier League games in the current campaign to suggest Emery does consider the Welsh star a key member of his current team.

The 27-year-old has been one of the north London side’s most consistent players in the past three or four signings, performing on a more regular basis than the Gunners’ best-paid player, Ozil.

Arsenal will take on Leicester City in their next Premier League game at The Emirates on Monday night in pursuit of a seventh successive victory.

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