Aaron Ramsey’s departure from Arsenal at the end of the season looks certain, with no sign of the club backing down after making it clear there is no contract on the table for him.
Bayern Munich are reportedly confident of signing the Wales international, who has been linked with various other clubs.
Ramsey’s exit will leave a void to fill at the Emirates Stadium. So who could fill it? Here are seven players the club could consider as a potential midfield replacement.
The Porto midfielder caught the eye during the World Cup, when his performances for Mexico suggested a big-money move was a certainty. However, he remains at Porto, where he has been for five years. He has quality and looks suited to the Premier League.
The Paris St-Germain star has been linked with a move to England during successive transfer windows. He was linked with Chelsea and more recently Tottenham, and continues to be touted for a possible move to the Premier League. It’s certainly a signing that would excite Arsenal fans.
Poland midfielder Zieliński continues to enhance his growing reputation with his performances in Italy. Having caught the eye for Udinese and Empoli, he has been excellent for Napoli and has been watched by Arsenal scouts.
It increasingly seems a question of when rather than if England midfielder Loftus-Cheek leaves Chelsea in search of regular first-team football. Crystal Palace, where he starred on loan last season, would love to sign him, as would West Ham and many others. He would surely be interested if Arsenal came calling and would add a physical presence to the Gunners midfield with his swashbuckling style.
A different type of player, but how about a return to his former club for Fabregas when his Chelsea contract expires at the end of the season? He didn’t rule it out when recently asked if he could return to Arsenal. Fabregas has bags of Premier League experience, has played in deep and more attacking midfield roles for Chelsea, and still has that touch of class on the ball.
Speaking of class, Maddison has really looked the part since arriving at Leicester from Norwich. He definitely wouldn’t be cheap, but at just 21 and with plenty of development potential, the England Under-21 international would be long-term investment.
Emile Smith Rowe
Arsenal have their own youngster with serious potential in Smith Rowe, who looks a major prospect. He could save the club millions if able to step up to first-team level on a regular basis sooner rather than later.