After reports on Thursday that there has been a breakdown in contract talks between Arsenal and Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil has been cited as a reason for the problems.
As per BBC Sport, the Gunners are said to have taken their contract offer off the table, with the Welshman now at risk of becoming a free agent at the end of the season.
Given his ongoing influence since joining the club in 2008, it will undoubtedly be a disappointment for many if he ends up leaving, but if an agreement can’t be reached on new terms, then it would appear as though there is little option other than to let him depart.
Of course there is also another option of giving a January exit the green light in order to avoid losing Ramsey for nothing.
Nevertheless, Andy Townsend has been speaking on the Sky Sports Debate Show, and he believes that the influence of Ozil’s big-money contract at the Emirates has been influential in the breakdown between Ramsey and Arsenal as he’ll naturally wish to be in the same pay bracket.
“It’s a factor,” he told Sky Sports. “They’re all big boys, and know certain players will get a lot more than others. He’s probably thinking that if they’re paying Ozil that amount, he will never be in a stronger position than he is now in terms of age, experience and everything else, and sometimes you have to stand firm.
“He’s as productive as Ozil, I think, and if I was Ramsey right now and I was getting offered a third he’s getting, I wouldn’t take it either.”
Time will tell if a compromise can be reached between the two parties before next summer, but Ramsey will be allowed to discuss terms with other clubs from January onwards.
As noted by the Evening Standard, both AC Milan and Juventus are said to be keen, and so it remains to be seen if a move to Italy appeals to the midfield ace as it looks as though his time at Arsenal is coming to an end next year.