Arsenal technical director Edu reportedly encouraged Mikel Arteta to abandon a deal for Aaron Ramsdale due to Sheffield United’s massive high asking price and wanted to pursue a cheaper alternative instead.
The Gunners were comfortably the biggest spenders in the Premier League over the summer, splashing out more than £150million on new arrivals, and the £30m fee for England squad man Ramsdale certainly raised some eyebrows.
The 23-year-old suffered relegation in successive seasons, but Arsenal still coughed up £24m up front plus a further £6m in easily achievable add-ons to make Ramsdale the joint-most expensive British goalkeeper ever.
However, it appears that not everyone at the Emirates was completely convinced that the young stopper was worth spending so much money on.
According to The Athletic, Ramsdale’s signing was driven predominantly by Arteta and when Sheffield United dug in over the fee Edu suggested an alternative.
The Brazilian and his team of scouts felt there were cheaper options who could do a similar job and proposed moving for Barcelona’s No.2 Neto instead.
Barca – who are in a difficult financial position – were prepared to accept a fee of around £12m for the shot-stopper, which is half the upfront fee the Gunners paid for Ramsdale.
Arteta in Ramsdale’s corner
But Arteta was adamant that he wanted the Englishman, who was part of Gareth Southgate’s Euro 2020 squad.
To that end, the Spaniard managed to convince the club to conclude a deal with the Blades.
Despite Edu’s stance, the report adds that Arsenal are pretty relaxed about the outlay for Ramsdale. They feel that the English premium they paid works both ways, with the club likely to get a decent fee for Ramsdale should he ever leave.
If and when Ramsdale does get his chance, the hope is that the youngster could emerge as the club’s No.1 for the next decade.