On Friday, a rumor that Juventus was looking to move on from Aaron Ramsey started floating around the internet. The Italian giants are looking to trim their massive wage bill in response to the financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 shutdown. Back in March, their players and head coach Maurizio Sarri agreed to waive four months of salary to help ease the strain. According to David Ornstein, Ramsey makes £400K a week; I’ve seen other outlets with a number as low as £225K.
The former Arsenal man has been slowed by injuries (sounds familiar) and has not established himself as a key piece in Sarri’s lineup. Ramsey has started just 9 of 26 Serie A matches and has appeared in 23 of 38 Juventus matches this season. Those aren’t bad numbers per se, but they aren’t commensurate with his wages, regardless of what the actual number is. Unrelated: good for him for getting PAID.
Reportedly, Juventus have reached out to two Premier League teams to communicate Ramsey’s availability. Manchester United, who were interested in him last summer when he ran down his contract in North London, is a probably one of them. United are one of the few clubs with the funds to cover his wages. There is also the Ryan Giggs connection (yes, I know he’s coaching the Welsh national team, but he’s still got strong ties to Manchester).
Might the other club be Arsenal? It’s unclear. A bloated wage bill and three years out of the Champions League haven’t left the club in the best financial shape, and that was before the shutdown. But it wouldn’t surprise me if Juventus reached out to see if Arsenal might be regretting letting the Welshman go.
We won’t ever know exactly what transpired between Ramsey and Arsenal, but the talks broke down. Ramsey had a number he wanted. The club had a number they wanted to pay. They couldn’t come to a consensus. Nothing about that has changed. He’s on a bigger contract than Arsenal offered, and the Arsenal front office is made up of mostly the same people. A move seems highly unlikely.
Again, I’m working from imperfect information, but I think it was a mistake to let him walk. It would compound that mistake to bring him back. Arsenal need to rebuild and rejuvenate the squad on a tight budget. Bringing back a 29-year old, expensive, injury prone player doesn’t do any of those things.
Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see Aaron Ramsey back in red — he’s one of my favorite players. But without him taking a hefty wage cut or Juventus covering a significant portion of his salary, which they won’t because they’re trying to shed salary, it ain’t happening.