With contract talks having broken down between Aaron Ramsey and Arsenal, and the Welshman’s contract set to expire in the summer, could the midfielder be the next high-profile star to leave The Emirates?
We take a look at the five clubs most likely to be Ramsey’s next destination…
5. Manchester United – 8/1
Sir Alex Ferguson missed out to Arsene Wenger for the teenage Ramsey’s signature back in 2008, but Manchester United could be back in for his signing a decade later.
Jose Mourinho has struggled to get his midfield balance right in recent seasons with Paul Pogba proving to be a problematic enigma and the summer addition of Brazilian Fred failing to solve the puzzle so far.
With rumours that Pogba wants out of Old Trafford, United could be in the market for a creative midfield presence. Could Ramsey, available on a free transfer this summer, be that player?
4. Everton – 6/1
Everton spent big on creative midfielders in the 2017 summer transfer window in a bid to ease the goal-scoring burden on their forwards after the departure of top scorer Romelu Lukaku.
Record-signing Gylfi Sigurdsson’s performances have been inconsistent, whilst Dutchman Davy Klaassen proved an expensive flop and was shipped out after just one season. Wayne Rooney, despite scoring 10 league goals, also departed for the MLS.
Ramsey would fit the bill as a player capable of providing goals from midfield. Whether the 27-year-old would be willing to sign for a club who haven’t qualified for the Champions League in 13 years, and whether the Goodison Park club would be willing to pay his apparent £250,000-a-week wage demands, remains to be seen.
3. Liverpool – 5/1
Despite boasting a midfield stocked with depth, Liverpool are the third favourites for Ramsey’s signature. Whilst midfielders such as James Milner, Gini Wijnaldum and Jordan Henderson provide much industry, there is often a sense that Liverpool rely heavily on their front three for goals.
With Adam Lallana having turned 30 and suffering ongoing injury problems, Ramsey could perhaps provide the creativity and guile that has been missing in his absence.
The Welshman will look at how former team-mate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain markedly improved having left Arsenal for Anfield, and believe Klopp could potentially take his game to the next level.
2. Chelsea – 7/2
Chelsea were favourites to sign Ramsey in the summer, but a move across London failed to materialise in the summer transfer window with Maurizio Sarri signing Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic to bolster his midfield ranks.
The West London club boast a midfield stacked with talent, but with current first choices Jorginho, Kovacic and N’Golo Kante averaging just one goal per season each over the last three years, there is room at Stamford Bridge for a goal-scoring midfielder.
At Napoli, Sarri had Marek Hamsik as the creative force to add midfield balance, and Ramsey is a player of similar ilk. Don’t be surprised to see Ramsey follow the likes of Ashley Cole and Olivier Giroud in swapping the red of Arsenal for the blue of Chelsea.
1. AC Milan – 2/1
Ramsey has spoken in the past of his desire to play abroad at some point in his career and fallen Italian giants AC Milan are the current favourites to secure his signature and take him to Italy.
Former Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis recently left the Emirates to take up a similar role at the San Siro and if rumours are to be believed he is keen on taking Ramsey with him. The Rossoneri are in the process of rebuilding having fallen on hard times in recent seasons, with their high spend in the 2017 summer transfer window failing to restore them as Serie A title challengers.
Available to approach Ramsey in January, the Italians are in pole position to negotiate with the Welshman, and securing his signing on a free transfer would be a coup in their current circumstances.