Football News

Arsenal explain why Aaron Ramsey left despite being “really keen” on new deal

By Steve Jennings

Published: 17:25, 23 May 2019

Arsenal’s head of football Raul Sanllehi says Aaron Ramsey was allowed to leave for free so that the team’s “salary balance” was not upset by the midfielder’s increased wages.

Ramsey has played his last game for the Gunners and will join Serie A champions Juventus after spending the last 11 years in north London.

Ramsey’s huge Juventus salary: Five key things to know…

  1. Ramsey will officially join Juventus on July 1 when his Arsenal contract comes to an end.
  2. The Welshman will reportedly earn somewhere between £300,000-£400,000 a week at his new club
  3. That salary places him alongside Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale as two of the highest paid British footballers ever.
  4. Ramsey’s currently earns £110,000 a week at Arsenal, a figure he could treble come July.
  5. The 28-year-old made a total of 371 appearances for the Gunners, scoring 65 goals.

Arsenal avoided losing Alexis Sanchez for nothing in a similar scenario in January 2018, exchanging the Chilean with Manchester United for Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

But the Londoners were unable to benefit from Ramsey’s contract situation and will receive no transfer fee for the former Cardiff City midfielder.

In an interview with the club’s official website, Sanllehi explained why Ramsey was allowed to leave on a free.

“For circumstances, whatever it was, we went to the last year of contract,” Sanllehi said.

“That’s a problem. When you go to the last year of contract of a player because of the way this is designed, there are a lot of clubs who can get that player for free.

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“One of the key things for me – and I’ve seen that happening in other clubs – one of the key things is to keep the rationality in the salary balance of the team. Because of our circumstances, because of not renewing Aaron on time we were in a situation in which Aaron had incredible offers building up on the salary.

“He was really keen on staying with us, he was ready to make the effort but at the end of the whole process we had to be responsible for ourselves and protect the interests of Arsenal. We realised we were going to cause an imbalance that would have been very harmful for the team’s sake in the medium and longer term.”

An error was made with Ramsey – Sanllehi

Sannllehi was pressed on the issue of Ramsey’s contract and was asked if he accepts there was an error made on the club’s part in allowing the Wales international’s deal to reach its end.

“Yes,” Sannlehi admitted. “At the end of the day, the problem, the real essence of the problem, was that we had reached the last year of the contract. I think [it was] mentioned at the beginning of this interview, one of our priorities is not to get to the last year of contracts. This is the example. This is the reason why.

“The only way to get to the end of a contract is when you are ready to release that player at the end of that contract. But if you really want to keep that player, you need to renew him before getting to the last year because you are putting yourself in a very weak position. We cannot get to the last year of the contract.

“If we cannot get a renewal before that, then we may have to sell. But the position of the club, of losing a player of the quality – and not only the football quality but the human quality and club identification – of Aaron, we have to avoid that. It’s not correct for us.”