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Aaron Ramsey, Arsenal Contract Talks Reportedly 'Moving in the Right Direction'

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistSeptember 7, 2018

CARDIFF, WALES - SEPTEMBER 02: Aaron Ramsey of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Cardiff City and Arsenal FC at Cardiff City Stadium on September 2, 2018 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. (Photo by James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images)
James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images

Aaron Ramsey is expected to eventually sign a new contract with Arsenal, according to Football.London's Charles Watts, who offered a positive update on the future of the midfielder whose deal expires next summer.

Answering a question during a Twitter Q&A, Watts provided these details on the state of talks between Ramsey and the Gunners:

"In terms of Ramsey, still no agreement. But I did hear from someone just last week that things were moving in the right direction—which is a positive. I think he will eventually sign, but Arsenal really have given themselves big issues by letting themselves get into this position again."

Ramsey's future has remained in doubt even after the arrival of Unai Emery as head coach. The Spaniard, who replaced Arsene Wenger in the dugout this summer, initially outlined plans to make Ramsey central to his team, per Sky Sports News.

So far Emery has put those plans into practice, handing Ramsey three starts in four Premier League matches. The Wales international came off the substitutes bench during the game he didn't start.

Ramsey has been trying to adjust to Emery's ideas.
Ramsey has been trying to adjust to Emery's ideas.Tim Ireland/Associated Press

Even so, uncertainty about his Arsenal career beyond this season has persisted. Last month, Daniel Cutts of The Sun reported talks had broken down, with the player wanting a significant hike to his £110,000-per-week salary.

This was followed by a report from Steve Stammers for the Mail On Sunday detailing Ramsey's intention to wait until January before making a decision. Obviously, the idea has potentially serious implications since the gifted midfielder would be able to sign a pre-contract agreement with a European club once the winter window opens.

It would be a blow to lose Ramsey, even if the 27-year-old has so far struggled to adapt to Emery's tactics. While he was a box-to-box midfielder under Wenger's watch, Ramsey has been pushed into a No. 10 role by Emery who wants a higher press from his forward line.

Ramsey has the energy for the role but has occasionally looked lost without the room to make his familiar runs from deep. Even so, the No. 8 who was Arsenal's Player of the Season for 2017/18 is too valuable to let go thanks to the ability to both score and create goals.

Arsenal had to make difficult decisions over both Ozil and Wilshere because of contract pressure.
Arsenal had to make difficult decisions over both Ozil and Wilshere because of contract pressure.ADRIAN DENNIS/Getty Images

Watts' point about the Gunners playing a risky game letting things get this far is well-taken after Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil were allowed to run their deals close to completion. Sanchez left for Manchester United in January, while Ozil was in a position to command an eye-watering £350,000-per-week payday to sign fresh terms.

Jack Wilshere's contract was allowed to expire after negotiations dragged on, and the England playmaker joined West Ham United in the summer.

Ramsey is more valuable than Wilshere and arguably more influential than Ozil. If Emery is determined to build around him, Arsenal should act fast to iron out a new deal before January.

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