UPDATE 11AM: The BBC is now reporting that a deal is not in fact done, and that Ramsey is also considering an offer that carries “great appeal” from PSG, as well as listening to a few other clubs.
It turns out the saga wasn’t much of a saga at all. If I were from a country that told stories of its history through sagas, this one wouldn’t even move the needle. Aaron Ramsey, in only the ninth day of the transfer window, signed a deal to move to Juventus this summer. Said deal is going to pay Ramsey £140,000 a week (just over £7 million a season).
If you’re like me, when you look at that number, your first thought is “wait a minute. He was asking for about £250K/week from Arsenal. Why is this number so much less and why couldn’t Arsenal have offered him something between 140 and 250?” The answer, as always, is math.
Italian salaries are generally quoted after tax and inclusive of bonuses and ancillary payments, where English ones are quoted pre-tax. When you do the numbers on a salary/income level that large, if Ramsey were to be paid that £250K every week in England, it would, in all likelihood, net out to...somewhere around 140K. So it’s not like he took a big ol’ pay cut just to leave London; he got what he was looking for, salary-wise.
And I feel OK about that. I really like Aaron Ramsey a lot as a player, but I’m also not convinced he should be any club’s highest paid player, which is close to what he was trying to get to at Arsenal. His wage demands were reportedly a response to Mesut Özil’s new £300K/week deal, and Arsenal clearly did not want to put Ramsey’s wages on par with Mesut’s.
So, now, Ramsey is leaving Arsenal for free in the summer, as we all feared he would. I wish him well, and I also wish the Arsenal negotiating team success as they evolve their thinking and attempt to stop this sort of thing from happening in the future.