Championship side Sheffield United are continuing to take a tough stance with goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, telling Arsenal they will not be ‘bullied into submission’ according to the Sheffield Star.
Ramsdale, 23, joined the Blades from then-recently relegated since AFC Bournemouth last summer for £18.5m as Chris Wilder looked to strengthen his goalkeeping department.
But despite finishing eighth in their first since back in the Premier League, they struggled hugely last season and finished bottom of the table, consigning the goalkeeper to back-to-back relegations.
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However, Ramsdale was seen as one of the Blades’ few shining lights in the second half of last season and earned himself a call-up to Gareth Southgate’s provisional England squad ahead of the Euros, just being pipped to the post by West Brom stopper Sam Johnstone with Burnley’s Nick Pope missing the tournament through injury.
With Dean Henderson’s hip injury though, Ramsdale was eventually recalled to the England setup and has been part of a side that’s managed to reach the semi-finals.
As per the Daily Mail’s exclusive on Friday, Arsenal are preparing to launch a bid for the Sheffield United goalkeeper after the end of the European Championships but the £40m asking price is proving to be a stumbling block – a valuation Slavisa Jokanovic’s side have been able to set because the 23-year-old’s deal at Bramall Lane doesn’t expire until 2024.
Since then, the Daily Star have reported that the Gunners are looking at fellow England keeper Sam Johnstone as a cheaper alternative to Ramsdale with just one year left on the Baggies’ man’s contract.
And at this current moment, it is believed the Blades keeper is firmly committed to Jokanovic’s side as they prepare to enter their 2021/22 Championship season under a new manager.
If Arsenal want value for money, they would be better served by going for Johnstone in this window, especially with the 28-year-old having just one year left on his current deal at the Hawthorns and unlikely to sign a new one now they are back in the Championship.
He may cost around £20m if The Sun’s report is anything to go by – but this price could come down if Arsenal and West Brom come to the negotiating table and with an England cap now under his belt – that is something he can bring to the Emirates.
For Sheffield United, there’s no need to sell Ramsdale with so long left on his current deal so they have every right to put a £40m price tag on his head. His saves next season could be key to a potential promotion charge and the fact he wants to stay makes the situation even easier.
£40m would be a nice amount of money to spend though, especially with a new manager in the building. And with this, the South Yorkshire side are in a win-win situation with the goalkeeper whichever route they take this summer.