Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown has branded the prospect of Aaron Ramsey leaving the club for free in the summer as "madness."
Juventus looks to be the Wales international's most likely destination when his contract expires in the summer after Arsenal withdrew the offer of a new deal back in September for "football and financial reasons," per David Ornstein of BBC Sport.
Keown wrote in his Daily Mail column that the mismanagement of various other transfers and contracts has led to the "staggering" situation the Gunners are in after head coach Unai Emery revealed on Thursday they can only enter the loan market this January:
"Ramsey has conducted himself with great dignity this season but it is astonishing that Arsenal, a powerhouse in the English game, could not put together a package to keep him. The team are still formidable going forward. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette are good enough to grace any team in the Premier League's top six.
"But the £100 million spent to sign those players last season and hefty wages given to other star players has led to this situation."
Keown added Juve "must be rubbing their hands together" at the prospect of getting Ramsey for nothing.
The 28-year-old has been at Arsenal since 2008 and has been a consistent asset in the midfield for the best part of the past decade.
He recovered from a horrific injury suffered against Stoke City in 2010 to make good on the enormous potential he showed as a youngster, and it does seem bad planning from Arsenal that they appear set to be letting him go for free.
Financial considerations have clearly been taken into account, and it is evident from Emery's latest comments that money is sparse at the Emirates Stadium:
But Keown highlighted, the Gunners have spent a huge amount of money on forwards in recent transfer windows and also signed Mesut Ozil to a bumper new contract in January 2018.
If it is those outlays that have left Arsenal in a position where they have to lose one of their key players, then the situation needs to be addressed so it does not happen again.