Liverpool and Manchester United pulled out of the race to sign Aaron Ramsey on a free transfer after learning of the departing Arsenal star’s excessive wage demands, a report claims.
The 28-year-old Wales midfielder, who has spent the last 11 seasons at Arsenal, will leave Emirates Stadium as a free agent this summer after Juventus confirmed the worst kept secret in football.
Ramsey has signed a four-year deal with the club, keeping him at the Allianz Stadium until summer 2023 and earning the attacking midfielder a staggering £400,000 a week. With it, the Welshman becomes the highest-paid British player in the world game.
Ramsey opted to move to Turin ahead of a host of rival interest, with the likes of Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and PSG also linked with the former Cardiff star, while English interest emerged from both United and Liverpool.
However, the London Evening Standard claims both Premier League sides had a genuine interest in signing Ramsey and held what was deemed positive talks with the player’s representatives.
It’s claimed Jurgen Klopp was keen to add Ramsey’s penetration from midfield to his Liverpool squad, while United’s interest stemmed from Jose Mourinho, though it did look uncertain they would follow up on that initial interest until a permanent successor was appointed.
However, the crucial factor in both culling their interest were Ramsey’s wage demands, as news of the former Cardiff star’s incredible salary he will be earning in Turin emerged.
During his four years in Serie A, Ramsey can expect to earn, before tax, £76.8m over four years, which amounts to £19.2m a year, £1.6m a month, £400,000 a week, £57,100 a day, £2,380 an hour, £39.68 a minute, or, if you prefer 66p a second. If you’ve read this far into the story, Ramsey has probably earned about as much as the average man has in one day!
In a short statement on their official website, the Serie A champions said: “Juventus Football Club S.p.A. announces that a contract of employment with the player Aaron James Ramsey, effective as of 1st July 2019 and expiring on 30 June 2023, has been signed.
“As a result of the registration of the player, Juventus will incur additional costs of €3.7million, to be paid within 10th July 2019.
“Aaron Ramsey will become only the third Welshman to pull on the Black & White shirt in the history of Juventus, following the great, John Charles and former European Golden Boot winner, Ian Rush.
“See you, Aaron!”
In a statement issued on his social media platforms, Ramsey wrote: “I wanted to issue a personal statement for all the Arsenal fans who have been extremely loyal and supportive. You welcomed me as a teenager and have been there for me through all the highs and lows I have encountered during my time at the club.
“It is with a heavy heart that I leave after 11 incredible years in north London. Thank you.
“I will continue to give the team 100 per cent and hope to finish the season strongly, before heading on to my next chapter in Turin.”
Ramsey had not seemed a natural fit for the Arsenal team being developed under new manager Unai Emery. He won the FA Cup under Arsene Wenger in 2014, 2015 and 2017.
A statement from Arsenal read: “Everyone at Arsenal Football Club wishes Aaron Ramsey a happy and successful future.
“Aaron’s made a fantastic contribution to our club since joining from Cardiff City in 2008. He has always been a consummate professional and will always have a special place in the hearts and memories of Arsenal fans around the world.”
Losing a player of Ramsey’s magnitude is a huge, albeit expected blow for Arsenal, who long since knew the player would be leaving this summer.
In a further setback to Arsenal, the club’s reported No 1 target to replace the Welshman is thought to have agreed a summer move to Napoli.
Losing Ramsey for free has been branded a ‘criminal offence’ by former Gunners star Paul Merson, who told Sky Sports: “Letting Ramsey leave is just bad, bad club management isn’t it.
“To let player contracts run out in this day and age for how much these players go for and how much they’re worth is criminal.
“To let him leave the club and walk away for free, somebody in his prime leaving for nothing, it’s a football crime.”
Ramsey has played 259 times for Arsenal, scoring 61 times.
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