Arsenal have been given all the encouragement they need to remedy an issue of their own making after the ‘plug was pulled’ on a target’s contract extension.
Arsenal were England’s top summer spenders when forking out around £140m on six new first-team faces. One player signed who was immediately met with scepticism was Aaron Ramsdale. The 23-year-old had suffered successive relegations with Bournemouth and Sheffield Utd.
Nonetheless, the Gunners deemed him worthy of a £24m transfer splash in a decision which already looks inspired.
Ramsdale wasted little time in displacing Bernd Leno as Mikel Arteta’s No. 1 between the sticks. However, his quick ascension has cast doubt over the future of Leno.
A recent report detailed Technical Director Edu’s plan to sever ties with the 29-year-old German. A January or summer exit could be on the cards. Per the report, how soon he leaves will be down to Leno.
That will leave Arsenal lacking competition for places, though a frequent target could yet fill the void.
Ajax’s Andre Onana has persistently been linked with Arsenal in recent months. Ramsdale’s arrival has not dampened the speculation.
That’s because the Camerooon international, 25, is all but certain to be leaving Ajax in the next 12 months.
The 25-year-old is currently in a state of limbo as he serves the final two months of his doping ban. That suspension concludes on November 4 and Ajax have been hard at work trying to convince him to pen fresh terms. His current contract expires next summer.
But speaking to Dutch outlet Voetbal International (via the Sun), Ajax chief Marc Overmars has delivered a decisive update on Onana’s future.
Revealing the Amsterdam club have ended all hope over a contract extension, Overmars said: “We tried, but it didn’t work.
“You make choices and then it has to come from both sides. We didn’t feel like he really wanted to.
“I read somewhere that we pulled the plug and that’s right. We do that for a reason.”
Ajax now have two options. Firstly, they could sanction a January sale to ensure a fee is generated. If that route isn’t taken, they will retain Onana for the year but lose him for free next summer.
Either way, Arsenal could swoop, and given Ajax’s predicament, a January raid isn’t likely to be a bank-breaker.
Online outlet 90min stress that Arsenal are not alone in their admiration of Onana. Serie A champions Inter Milan are also reported to be in the frame. That was backed up by trusted transfer guru Fabrizio Romano who confirmed Inter are eyeing a free agent capture.
Tomiyasu explains “easy choice” joining Arsenal
Meanwhile, Takehiro Tomiyasu has explained why he could not turn down the chance to join Arsenal after completing a £16million switch in the summer transfer window.
The 22-year-old told the Gunners’ official matchday programme: “For me Arsenal is one of the biggest clubs in the world, so there is no reason at all to say no to them. It’s as simple as that – when I had the offer, I just wanted to be part of Arsenal.
“I wanted to play at a higher level, so I am so grateful to be given this chance by Arsenal. Just could not believe it when I found out.
“I was very excited as soon as I knew. I didn’t need to call anyone or speak to anyone for advice. It was an easy choice for me, because, well because it’s Arsenal.
“I didn’t even have time to speak to the manager before signing the contract, and I didn’t need to. I wanted to come.”