Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey’s transfer to Juventus looks more or less done.
It goes without saying that this is pretty bad news for the Gunners, with Dean Jones of Bleacher Report giving an update earlier today that suggests it is the deal that looks most likely to be on the cards for Ramsey.
Am told the pre-contract is not actually signed yet… but that Aaron Ramsey will join Juventus.
Yep, it sounds like it is actually going to happen.
Ramsey to JUVENTUS! Amazing ?
— Dean Jones (@DeanJonesBR) January 3, 2019
The Welshman will be out of contract at the Emirates Stadium in the summer, ending an 11-year stay in north London to try a new challenge abroad.
Arsenal’s job now is to replace a quality all-rounder in the middle of the park, which will be no easy task.
We’ve put together a list of five possible candidates who could be worth a try for Unai Emery to fill that all-important role in his squad…
1) Ever Banega (Sevilla)
Long linked with a reunion with his old manager, Ever Banega has once again been talked up as a possible midfield signing for Arsenal.
The Daily Star have suggested a deal could be close for the Argentine to come in, and he looks to have all the attributes to be a success for the club and adapt well to Premier League football.
One issue, however, is that he’s 30 and therefore not much of a long-term replacement, so some fans may prefer the team to think of someone younger either instead of, or alongside Banega.
2) Juan Mata (Manchester United)
Recently linked with Arsenal by ESPN, Juan Mata’s Manchester United future is in doubt and he’s another classy attacking midfielder who’s played under Emery before at Valencia.
The Spaniard has been a big hit in his time in the Premier League with both United and Chelsea, and seems an ideal fit for Arsenal’s style of football.
It remains to be seen, however, what will happen with Mata as he nears being a free agent at Old Trafford this summer.
3) Pablo Sarabia (Sevilla)
Not yet linked with Arsenal, but Pablo Sarabia is another quality Sevilla midfielder who may be worth a look for the club.
Diario AS, with translation from Football Espana, link the in-form 26-year-old with Real Madrid, with the club ready to activate his cheap release clause.
Arsenal should certainly consider the Spaniard, who has contributed high levels of goals and assists this season and who seems ideal to offer what Ramsey does to this Arsenal side.
4) Denis Suarez (Barcelona)
BBC Sport recently claimed Arsenal could consider a loan move for Barcelona midfielder Denis Suarez, who seems another strong candidate to come in as a like-for-like Ramsey replacement.
The 24-year-old is also a young player with something to prove, making him perhaps a more ideal long-term signing for the club if a permanent deal were to be possible.
The issue, however, is that the Daily Mirror have also linked Suarez with Chelsea recently as they look for a replacement for Cesc Fabregas as he looks set to leave Stamford Bridge this winter.
Still, beating a major top four rival to this quality signing could make it a doubly satisfying deal for the Gunners if they pull it off.
5) Andreas Pereira (Manchester United)
UOL have mentioned Arsenal as being among the admirers of Andreas Pereira, who has struggled for playing time at Manchester United.
Like Mata, the young Brazilian seems an ideal fit for this Emery side, and there does seem to be a genuine opportunity to snap him up in the near future.
Of course, big rivals don’t like to sell to each other too often, but Arsenal need a midfielder and Pereira could do with more first-team football.