Arsenal will not stand in Aaron Ramsey's way of a move to Barcelona, with the Primera Division giants set to step up their interest in the midfielder, according to reports.
According to an exclusive piece from John Richardson in the Daily Express, Barcelona are happy to go as high as £60 million in their attempts to sign the Welshman, who was apparently watched by the Catalans during Wednesday’s 3-3 draw with Liverpool, a game in which the 25-year-old scored a fine goal.
“Barcelona attempted to land the former Cardiff [City] attacking midfielder last summer only for Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger to reject their overtures,” wrote Richardson. “But I understand from sources close to Ramsey that the Gunners won’t deny the player the opportunity of joining the likes of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar at Barcelona next season.”
It’d certainly be a tantalising proposition for Ramsey, who continues to show his value to the Gunners with brilliant performances. As noted by MisterChip, the midfielder has been a consistent goalscorer in the Premier League:
It’s easy to see why Barcelona would be interested in a player like the Welshman. Not only is Ramsey technically proficient, a prerequisite in order to play for the Blaugrana, but he adds a drive and thrust to the Arsenal midfield. His tactical adaptability means he’s capable of fulfilling various roles too.
In Ivan Rakitic, Andres Iniesta and Arda Turan, Barcelona are in possession of some fine attacking midfielders. But not one of that trio finds the net as regularly as the Arsenal man.
Even so, Bleacher Report’s Gianni Verschueren is unsure whether Barcelona would have the money to bring Ramsey to the Nou Camp:
Although Richardson suggested Arsenal would let Ramsey join Barcelona, it’s tough to see them being so accommodating when it comes to one of their star players. He may not be as dynamic as Alexis Sanchez or as intricate as Mesut Ozil, but the midfielder would be extremely difficult to replace at the Emirates Stadium.
A fee of £60 million would likely be enough to make the Gunners consider a sale as it's an enormous amount of money. As aforementioned, it’s doubtful as to whether Barcelona could afford that kind of splurge, though, meaning it’s unlikely Ramsey will be going anywhere during the summer months.
Mathieu Debuchy Close to Aston Villa
Aston Villa are set to finalise a loan deal for Arsenal full-back Mathieu Debuchy, according to Wayne Veysey of Football Insider.
The Frenchman has struggled for minutes throughout the campaign, and according to the aforementioned piece, Arsenal have accepted an offer of £1.2 million from the Midlands club to loan the right-back until the end of the campaign. Veysey wrote the move will not go ahead until the end of the transfer window, though.
“Wenger might be interested in a late move for a new right-back if first choice Hector Bellerin was to get injured. He has Calum Chambers as back-up, as well as the versatile Mathieu Flamini, but both are more comfortable elsewhere,” adds Veysey.
Debuchy himself revealed he feels as though he needs to leave Arsenal during this window and has cited Villa as an option, per l'Equipe (h/t Matthew Rogerson of Goal):
Whatever happens, even if it is to return [to Arsenal] this summer and then start again, I have to go this winter. I can not stay at Arsenal.
[Villa's position] makes you think. This is also why I take my time before deciding. On the other hand, it can also be a great challenge. While they are currently in difficulty, Aston Villa is one of the major English clubs. This is also why I do not rule out this possibility.
Martin Laurence of WhoScored.com thinks Debuchy would be a brilliant capture for Villa, who could give him the game time he needs:
It’s a move that makes sense for all parties. The experienced defender needs minutes to ensure he remains in the frame for France’s Euro 2016 squad, while Villa, who are rooted to the bottom of the Premier League table, desperately need to shore up their defensive efforts. Debuchy’s determined playing style should enable them to do so.
It’ll be interesting to see whether the former Newcastle United man does have a long-term future at the Emirates Stadium. The rapid rise of Hector Bellerin has forced him down the pecking order this season, but Debuchy will be hoping to show in a stint at Villa Park that he still has what’s required to cut it for the Gunners.