Arsenal drive fee down by £16m as agreement finally close for major target

Aaron Ramsdale, Oli McBurnie Sheffield United

Aaron Ramsdale is on the brink of becoming an Arsenal player after being left out of the Sheffield United squad for their midweek match against West Brom.

Ramsdale has been a major target for Arsenal all summer as they look for further competition for Bernd Leno in goal. Last season, they signed Alex Runarsson, only to be disappointed. They still have the Iceland international, but added Mat Ryan on loan as a more reliable backup in January.

Ryan has since left Brighton to join Real Sociedad on a permanent basis. He went on to reveal that, when in talks with Arsenal at the end of his loan, he got the feeling they were moving for a homegrown keeper.

The identity of that player seems to be Ramsdale, who has been at the top of their wish-list to reinforce the goalkeeping department for a number of weeks.

The 23-year-old suffered relegation in back-to-back seasons with Bournemouth and the Blades. However, on an individual level, he did enough to earn a late call-up to the England squad for Euro 2020.

But following that competition, in which he did not play, doubts remained over his club future. Ramsdale wants to be playing in the Premier League again, but Sheffield United set a high asking price.

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Arsenal have identified the three Barcelona players, goalkeeper Neto, centre-back Clement Lenglet and attacking midfielder Phillipe Coutinho, in exchange for their strike pair Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.

It seemed Arsenal would have to move on, but Blades boss Slavisa Jokanovic recently revealed Ramsdale is still hopeful of a move to the Emirates Stadium.

With negotiations ongoing, Jokanovic has subsequently omitted Ramsdale from the United team that is taking on West Brom on Wednesday.

In the meantime, The Athletic claim that an agreement is finally close. It appears the two clubs have met in the middle to agree upon a transfer fee. Whereas United originally wanted £40m, Arsenal have driven the price down to £26m. They could top it up with £6m in add-ons.

Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale reacts after Leicester City's Ayoze Perez (not pictured) scores their side's second goal of the game during the Premier League match at King Power Stadium, Leicester

The South Yorkshire side will thus make a profit on Ramsdale, whom they re-signed for £18m in 2020. All that remains is for him to agree personal terms with Arsenal, although that shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

The report concludes that Arsenal hope to get Ramsdale registered in time to be part of the squad for their match against Chelsea on Sunday.

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Martin Odegaard Arsenal frustration

The same goes for Martin Odegaard, who is close to returning to the club after his loan spell from Real Madrid in the second half of last season.

Odegaard made 14 Premier League appearances last season, nine of which were starts, providing one goal and two assists. His overall impression was positive and he has been Mikel Arteta’s top target ever since.

There were originally doubts over whether Madrid would let him go on a permanent basis. However, an indication that they may finally came when they left him out of their La Liga squad list.

Thus, Arsenal’s patience has seemingly paid off. Odegaard will move back to north London for a fee in the region of €40m. Real will retain a first-refusal clause should the Gunners sell him later down the line.

The playmaker will sign a five-year contract with the Gunners, who discovered a need for more creativity after his departure and will be able to find the best solution by bringing him back.

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