Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey says he wants to stay at Arsenal until the end of the season when his current deal is up, despite the Gunners taking a new four-year contract offer off the table.
The North London club could lose the 27-year-old for free next summer, so Unai Emery and the Emirates board face a tough decision over any potential interest in Ramsey during the January transfer window. That would be the last opportunity to get a fee for him unless contract talks resume and he pens a new deal.
Ramsey could also negotiate a pre-contract agreement with foreign clubs as of January 1st, 2019. This has raised the potential of a winter window exit from the Gunners for him
“I’m contracted to Arsenal and going to do my best this season to achieve something special,” Ramsey told the BBC. “Everything has been going great with the club. We thought we were in a position where we had agreed a deal, but that’s no longer the case.”
The decision may not be Ramsey’s, however, and there are already rumours of interest from Premier League clubs and sides in Europe. He has won three FA Cups and the Community Shield twice with the Gunners during his 11 seasons with the club.
Leading bookmakers Paddy Power have opened a market on Ramsey’s future and make Arsenal’s Premier League rivals Liverpool 9/2 chances to poach him in January. Jurgen Klopp already has plenty of midfield options, but none perhaps with the dynamism Ramsey possesses.
England international duo Adam Lallana and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have both been long-term injury absentees at Anfield of late, while Reds summer signings Fabinho and Naby Keita are bedding in to Premier League life slowly.
Fallen Serie A giants AC Milan, meanwhile, are 7/1 shots to take Ramsey to the San Siro during the winter window. Since last winning the Champions League in 2007 with a midfield that contained legends like Clarence Seedorf, Andrea Pirlo, Kaka and current coach Gennaro Gattuso, the Rossoneri have lacked truly world class talent in that area.
For all the spending Milan have done in recent seasons, they could really use someone with Ramsey’s attributes and were among those foreign clubs linked to erstwhile Gunners teammate Jack Wilshere when he left the Emirates last summer, but he chose West Ham United instead.
Chelsea has also been mentioned as a possible destination for Ramsey in dispatches, but just getting into the Stamford Bridge midfield is a challenge for the current options available to Blues boss Maurizio Sarri. That fierce competition for places across London is probably why they are as big as 20/1 in the betting on Ramsey’s next club.
Juventus, the dominant footballing force in Italy, are other intriguing outsiders at 25/1 for his signature. The Old Lady, for all their sensational summer swoop for Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo, are actually quite light in midfield, with World Cup-winning duo Sami Khedira and Blaise Matuidi both the wrong side of 30.
If Ramsey or Arsenal were to be tempted by apparent interest from the Turin team, then he’d still have Bosnia playmaker Miralem Pjanic, ex-Liverpool man Emre Can and promising Uruguay international Rodrigo Bentancur to contend with.