Aaron Ramsey has revealed that he only moved to Juventus after a new contract offer was removed from the table by Arsenal.
Ramsey made a free-transfer switch to Turin in 2019. The Wales star agreed a move in February 2019, before signing a four-year contract with Juve which officially took effect from July 2019.
It was a move which financially made sense to 31-year-old Ramsey. The Serie A side agreed to pay him an eye-watering £400,000 a week. But unfortunately Ramsey never settled in Turin and he left to join Rangers on loan last season before signing for Nice in the summer.
But Ramsey has made it clear his choice was never to leave north London. He was intending on extending his 11-year stay before things went awry.
Ramsey, speaking in an interview with The Times, says that he was close to prolonging his stay with the Gunners.
“It all happened… I agreed to a contract they proposed,” he said. “Things went quiet for a few weeks. I was telling my agent, ‘Let’s do it,’ then all of a sudden the contract was no longer there. So there was nothing to sign or agree.
“It was a difficult start for a few months with Unai. As the season was going on, I was playing more and playing really well. Then January came and I had to make a decision whether I carried on and saw what happened or whether I agreed somewhere.”
The money was obviously a draw for Ramsey, but he insists his options were limited.
“I decided to do that [move] because there was nothing on the table [from Arsenal],” added Ramsey.
Ramsey: There was a lot of change
“There was a lot of change with the manager [Unai Emery] coming. I don’t understand, I still don’t know what exactly happened.
“I have no bad words or bad feelings to Arsenal. They are still a massive part of my life and I still look out for them and I am really glad to see them doing so well. I always have love for Arsenal and that will never change.”
Ramsey admits he was relishing the challenge of a move to Serie A.
“It was really exciting to go to Turin, to Italy, and to have a new challenge, to be out of my comfort zone, having been at one club so long,” he added.
However, the Covid-19 pandemic made life tougher than expected for Ramsey, who relocated with three young children.
“The club were trying to help as much as they can but it was just four months into my first year there,” he said. “I didn’t know the language. I was watching the news but couldn’t understand a lot of it. We talk about stability, foundations but there was Covid, a lot of change.”