ARSENAL’S attempts to seal a new five-year-deal with Aaron Ramsey have collapsed again – due to the continuing circus surrounding Ivan Gazidis.
The Gunners thought they had made a major breakthrough and were on the brink of agreeing a new £250,000-a-week deal with Ramsey last week, which would have concluded months of painstaking negotiations with their longest-serving player.
It is the closest both parties have come to actually agreeing terms, with the main components of the deal more or less agreed.
However SunSport understands the deal remains unfinished amid growing concerns that chaos over chief executive Gazidis’s immediate future is undermining the whole process.
Arsenal’s controversial CEO is currently at the centre of a tug-of-war between the Gunners and Italian giants AC Milan, who have been brazenly pursuing Gazidis since the summer.
The South African-born businessman has yet to break his silence on where his future lies.
Even Arsenal head coach Unai Emery, who so impressed the CEO in securing the role as Wenger’s successor, admitted he was in the dark about Gazidis’s future when he was asked on Thursday.
Now the Arsenal chief’s refusal to publicly commit to Arsenal appears to be having a direct effect on the Ramsey deal.
Gazidis would be required to rubber-stamp the final outstanding clauses before signing off Ramsey’s bumper new contract – which could explain the latest hold-up at Arsenal’s end.
It is now less than 15 weeks until the 27-year-old Welshman is free to sign a pre-contract agreement with a foreign club – with AC Milan the latest club to be linked with Ramsey, who they could then leave Arsenal for free next summer.
That could appear to some fans as a conflict of interest as far as Gazidis as concerned.
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That was closely followed by stories claiming Gazidis’s first move at the San Siro would be to persuade Ramsey to follow him to AC Milan.
Sources close to Arsenal suggest that has sent alarm bells ringing through the corridors of power at the Emirates as the club realises the predicament they are in while Gazidis’s future remains shrouded in mystery and doubt.
Despite reports suggesting Ramsey is ready to follow his chief exec to Milan, our information is the Arsenal stalwart favours staying with the Gunners where he has scored 58 goals in 333 appearances since signing from Cardiff City a decade ago.
He appeared to be on course to strike a deal – now as the clock continues to tick down on his future, Arsenal appear to be no further forward again as the Gazidis saga continues to rumble on.