Premier League club Arsenal may turn their focus away from top target Aaron Ramsdale and move on to alternatives with a deal for the 23-year-old looking ‘increasingly’ difficult, according to Sky Sports journalist Dharmesh Sheth.
The Sheffield United shot-stopper has been the subject of interest from the Gunners for most of the summer after joining league rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Wolverhampton Wanderers in the race for his signature, although no clubs are yet to come in with a satisfactory bid for the Blades.
This is largely due to the £35m valuation that has been placed above the England international’s head by officials at Bramall Lane – and they are currently playing hardball with Mikel Arteta’s side after only seeing him re-join the Blades from AFC Bournemouth last summer on a four-year deal.
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The South Yorkshire side’s boss Slavisa Jokanovic has also made it clear that he wants one of his most treasured assets to remain with the recently relegated side beyond the summer, although this may prove to be difficult considering his bright performances in the second half of last term and his subsequent call-up to the England squad for the European Championships.
As things stand, Jokanovic’s men are still holding out for a £30m+ deal and though it has been reported that Arsenal hope to conclude a deal for Ramsdale this week, Sky Sports journalist Dharmesh Sheth believes this potential move is looking increasingly unlikely.
Speaking on the Sky Sports Transfer Talk podcast, Sheth said: “Arsenal made the Sheffield United goalkeeper (Ramsdale) their number one target but they’ve failed to agree a fee so far.
“It looks increasingly difficult that this one will get done.
“Arsenal might change tact now and go for a number two and maybe bring a number two on loan. If they can do that, they’ll allow Alex Runarsson to leave the club.”
With the Blades standing reasonably firm on their asking price, reportedly demanding the Gunners to up their bid to £32m, it does seem as though the effort placed into getting this deal over the line will be in vain.
Arsenal have also been linked with moves for the likes of James Maddison, Houssem Aouar, Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa and Ramsdale’s teammate Sander Berge – and may have all four ahead of Ramsdale on their transfer priorities checklist this summer.
Although there is the need for Bernd Leno to be given competition in the north London side’s goalkeeping department, spending a sizeable sum on a goalkeeper who is unlikely to start regularly at the Emirates Stadium would be unwise.
This is why it’s looking more likely that Sheffield United will be able to retain one of their key men – and this will come as great news to Blades boss Jokanovic who will be delighted to retain the shot-stopper.
His performances could be key to promotion this season, so it will not only be a huge boost to the manager, but also to his teammates and fans at Bramall Lane who look set to see him in action for the foreseeable future.