Is Arsenal star Aaron Ramsey on Barcelona’s radar?
Arsenal (odds-on at 3/10 with Coral to retain the FA Cup) may have to brace themselves for a Barcelona raid this summer, as reports emerged that the Catalan giants have supposedly been scouting prized midfielder Aaron Ramsey.
Wales international Ramsey, capped 33 times for his country, could be primed to follow in compatriot Gareth Bale’s footsteps by heading for the bright lights of Spain, with the former Cardiff City star said to have been identified as the heir to departing midfield schemer Xavi Hernandez’s throne.
Ramsey is, of course, a lot more direct than the magnificent La Masia product, but Barca (odds-on at 4/11 to lift the Champions League) have also been linked with the powerful and imposing Paul Pogba, suggesting the Nou Camp club could be ready to shake-up their style.
No slouch when in possession himself, 24-year-old playmaker Ramsey can also operate in a box-to-box role, with his lung-busting runs often changing games for Arsenal, though the Welshman is perhaps most lauded for his nose for goal.
The versatile midfield man has notched just 10 across all competitions this campaign, but hit 15 in his most productive patch, which was last season, when a rampant Ramsey struck 15, including a famous FA Cup final winner against Hull City.
Catalan kings Barcelona (13/5 to draw with Juventus over 90 minutes) are believed to be ready to fork out a fee of around £50m for the Welsh wizard, though it appears unlikely that Arsene Wenger would be willing to part with one of his top players, as the Gunners aim to mount a serious title challenge next term.
Arsenal are blessed with an abundance of attacking midfielders, though, so Luis Enrique may still have hope of prising Ramsey away from the Emirates. The two top European clubs have completed successful business numerous times before, most recently with Alexis Sanchez arriving in north London.
Wenger would surely resist another attempt by the Catalans to pinch his best and brightest, having previously lost big names such as Thierry Henry, Marc Overmars and Cesc Fabregas to the lure of La Liga’s recently crowned champions.
Barca have apparently scouted Ramsey numerous times this term, with rumours suggesting the Champions League finalists were originally running the rule over Arsenal academy graduate Jack Wilshere, but have instead been captivated by his clubmate. Can the Catalans tempt hims to Spain? Watch this space.