Unai Emery dodged questions over his role in the collapse of Aaron Ramsey’s contract negotiations with Arsenal.
The Welsh midfielder is expected to leave the club either in January or on the expiry of his contract at the end of the season following a breakdown in talks between the club and Ramsey’s representatives, who were believed to view Mesut Ozil’s £350,000-a-week salary as a guiding point around which to negotiate an extension.
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With increased pressure on a wage budget of £200million, Arsenal were reluctant to meet Ramsey’s demands. The 27-year-old now appears destined to leave the club, who will look to cash in in the January transfer market rather than lose the player on a free.
Ramsey has been a key part of Emery’s team so far this season, starting all bar one of their Premier League games. He has yet to score, but provided assists for both goals in the 2-0 win over Everton on Sunday.
Despite this pressure, the volte-face in negotiations with Ramsey still came as a surprise, with both sides optimistic over an agreement a few weeks ago.
Asked if he had indicated he wanted Ramsey to stay, Emery said: “There are three aspects: the player and their family, the club, and the team.
“My focus is on the team, preparing with every player only thinking for the match tomorrow. Each player has individual aspects to work on or to speak with the club or the team.
“My aspect of focus is only on the matches and preparing the matches and speaking with the players, that they are thinking and very concentrated on work and their best individual performance and helping us with our collective performance.”
Emery was similarly evasive over Ramsey’s importance to his team despite his consistent presence in the starting lineup.
“Every player is very important, he added. "I consider each player’s space important in the squad.”
Italian giants AC Milan and Juventus are both targeting the midfielder, who has also been linked with Premier League sides Chelsea and Manchester United.