Sheffield United boss Slavisa Jokanovic has confirmed that Arsenal are pushing to sign Aaron Ramsdale this summer, and that he is losing the battle to keep him.
The goalkeeper has been strongly linked with a move to the Emirates this summer, with the club without an established second-choice shot-stopper at present thanks to Mat Ryan’s departure at the end of his loan spell, and the latest update sounds like we are closing in on Ramsdale’s signature.
Jokanovic not only confirmed that the English international wants to make the move back to the Premier League, but that he is seemingly losing in his bid to keep his key asset from our side.
“I don’t know. If you ask me if I want him to leave, then no,” Slavisa said in his pre-match press conference(via ExaminerLive) ahead of tomorrow’s clash with West Brom. “I am the Sheffield United coach, he’s a Sheffield United player now and it will depend on the club, it will depend on our club and it will depend also Arsenal too. They are the principal club pushing for him. In this moment there does not exist any change, we will see what happens in the future.
“Naturally he wants to be a Premier League player.
“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.
“He is a talented English player and I understand Arsenal are interested, but this is the business. If he is one of the best players in the league, his price is really high and in the end the decision can be with Arsenal if they want him or not. If they want him they need to spend a lot of money.”
Jokanovic added that he has no interest in losing his number one, but that the decision is with the club, and he would happily turn down a nine-figure amount to keep him if he had the choice.
“If you ask me if I will sell for £100m I would say no,” he continued. “I have no interest in selling the guy but I understand the business side of the club and understand Aaron, too.
“But Aaron understands very well what I want. I explain to him a few times I am not a guy who wants to push him out of the club. If Arsenal want to spend £100m and my word is last I would still say no.
“This is it, but I must be prudent and show some responsibility about club business too.”
The manager was then asked if it was a difficult situation with the prospect of losing a player he has no intention to sell, to which he replied: “I will be disappointed if he leaves the club but it’s part of the realistic situation.
“Arsenal is pushing from one side and I am pulling from a different side.
“This is part of the game. They have more tools than me right now. I cannot pay his contract with this transfer and I am always in a little bit of trouble with this kind of thing.
“Actually right now I am thinking about him as a Sheffield United player because he is a Sheffield United player and we need to recognise that interest exists. That’s it, we will see what happens.
“I will be more satisfied if this guy stays and be part of my team but if it doesn’t happen I will wish him all the best. Everything will be in the future, but right now he is still our player.”
I can’t say Ramsdale would have been high on my wishlist to come in and rival Leno for the number one role, but he has plenty of scope to prove me and his other doubters wrong in the near future, and it seems ever-clearer that we are closing in on his signature at present.