It’s completely baffling how Arsenal have handled Aaron Ramsey’s situation.
The offer to extend his contract was on the table awaiting the Welshman’s signature and then was withdrawn just as quickly.
All of this has been made public, instead of keeping a dignified silence, which would have been in the clubs favour financially.
The secrecy may have tempted an offer for the player in January of between £30-£40 million.
Instead Arsenal have proved themselves to be the worst kind of poker player.
It now appears that they and the player, have admitted that discussions have ended without agreement or renewal, which leaves the door wide open for clubs to snap Ramsey up for nothing in the summer.
I thought I’d seen and heard it all, but this latest twist makes Arsenal something of a laughing stock.
What on earth were they thinking ?
The possible sums involved could have been used wisely on a couple of new additions but it appears the club has money to burn and invisible Stan Kroenke, has played another blinder by allowing this pantomime to take to the stage.
It beggars belief and whatever the reasons for this act of incompetence, paying fans will find it desperately hard to swallow.
Ramsey has made 341 appearances for the gunners and the club supported him for his cumulative absences which tot up to three seasons.
So why has the relationship soured with the player who has proved vital in recent years ?
We may never know, but perhaps the agent working on Ramsey’s behalf tried the patience of the power brokers at the Emirates and left them no choice but to withdraw the contract offer.
It was rumoured that the player wanted parity with the top earners and asked for a substantial increase on his £110,000 per week.
That wasn’t forthcoming but after a series of meetings, an offer was tabled that Ramsey was poised to sign.
Then something went wrong and that offer was taken off the table with no apparent explanation.
I am staggered that the club has not really used their experience with the Sanchez and Ozil saga. They should have been more savvy by attempting to ensure they conducted these negotiations in private and allow themselves some wiggle room.
The player held all the cards with his contract reaching its end and no doubt, the negotiations that followed, stopped just short of being bruising but instead of taking the initiative to draw an offer from another club, it appears they are advertising the Welshman’s availability for nothing.
I’m genuinely upset and appalled. I know Arsenal have sent scouts to look at two possible replacements but they could have made life easier for themselves with a bulging bank balance.
It’s like a child wandered in to the boardroom and conducted the proceedings to the sound of ‘the wheels on the bus’ and then decided that they were not going to allow the player to sign ‘ their’ piece of paper.
Perhaps he asked for too many Haribo’s.
I thought the behind the scenes reshuffle would result in fewer situations such as this but no, business as usual, errors of judgement and poor management have left Arsenal looking indecisive and incompetent.
I hope the plan ‘B’ is a good one in terms of his replacement because if not, they are losing a valuable player, probably to premier league opposition, without getting anything in return.
Sky sports looked at this new revelation in the saga and Danny Higginbotham expressed ‘ surprise ‘
He’s not alone there.
He went on
“ He, over the last few years, has been one of the key players. He’s not quiet hit his peak yet.
The way that Emery wants to play would suit a player like Ramsey, the way they go from front to back very quickly.
we know that Ramsey can pick a pass. We know that he can get in the end of balls. I thought it would be a great fit.”
It’s s testament to Ramsey that he has remained focused on his football and only recently scored a sublime team goal against Fulham,
a reminder of what he is all about as a player and if the talent Arsenal are going to miss.
I don’t think Emery, despite his favourable noises thought that he was the best option available and has identified a younger, cheaper replacement.
Perhaps Guendouzi’s emergence and Emile Smith Rowe has convinced the Spaniard that he no longer needs him and will spend money in the wide areas.
Who knows but what we do know, is Arsenal need to tie players down to longer contracts, they need to act promptly and stop giving players the advantage to hold them hostage.