Sheffield United manager Slavisa Jokanovic has confirmed that goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale wants a transfer to Arsenal this summer.
The Gunners have made the Englishman a key target in the current transfer window. Following the arrivals of defenders Nuno Tavares, Ben White and midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga, boss Mikel Arteta wants support for Bernd Leno. Reports have mooted a potential £30million deal for some time.
Still, the fee is reportedly the stumbling block for Arsenal and Jokanovic has made his club’s stance clear.
Indeed, he said that he has not given Ramsdale permission to leave and would reject mammoth offers if it was down to him.
However, he added in a press conference on Tuesday that the player does want to move to north London.
“[It’s] natural he wants to be a Premier League player,” the manager told reporters (via the Daily Mirror).
“I am talking with him, he believes it can be a good move for himself but it is not a bad thing for him if he stays with us.
“In the end it is the decision of Arsenal. If they want him, they need to spend a lot of money. It can happen, but it is something I don’t want. If you ask me if I want to sell him for £100m, I say no.”
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Should the Blades keep Ramsdale, they will have a strong squad in the search for an instant return to the Premier League following last season’s relegation to the Championship.
They have signed centre-back Ben Davies from Liverpool on loan for the season. Meanwhile, Lys Mousset – who is albeit injured for the time being – and Rhian Brewster represent strong options up front.
As for their star man between the sticks, though, Jokanovic accepts the “business” side of the player’s future.
Ramsdale has Arsenal transfer potential
“But I can understand the business side of both clubs and of Aaron too. He understands very well what I want,” the manager added.
“I’m not the guy who wants to sell him for any price. If Arsenal want to offer £100m and it was up to me, I’d say no.
“But I must be responsible and prudent for the club too. He is a talented English player and I understand Arsenal are interested, but this is the business.
“Arsenal is pushing from one side and I am pulling from a different side.
“Aaron doesn’t have my permission to leave but I understand the situation. I will be more satisfied if this guy stays but if it doesn’t happen I will wish him all the best.”
Jokanovic was speaking ahead of United’s Championship clash with West Brom on Wednesday, the Blades’ fourth game of the new season.
Ramsdale has played two of the first three, with his side losing to Birmingham and drawing to Swansea.