Comments by ex-Arsenal favourite and current Ajax chief Marc Overmars have given the Gunners encouragement to reverse their transfer course. Arsenal were the subject of intense speculation linking them with Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale recently.
The England international has suffered back-to-back relegations, though that has reportedly not deterred the Gunners. A £30 million ($42 million) bid was reportedly lodged last week, though the Blades are confident of squeezing out a few extra million before greenlighting the deal.
At that price, Ramsdale could usurp Bernd Leno to become the club’s number one between the sticks.
The pursuit of a new goalkeeper became all the more important after back-up Runar Alex Runarsson recently left for Turkey on loan.
The whole saga drew strong criticism from TalkSPORT’s Jamie O’Hara. The ex-Tottenham midfielder branded the Gunners a “mess” after selling Emiliano Martinez to Aston Villa for just £20 million ($28 million) last summer.
Signing Ramsdale would undoubtedly split opinion, though if Ajax director of football Overmars’ latest comments are anything to go by, Arsenal could avoid the hassle and sign Andre Onana instead if they wish. Onana, 25, is currently serving a doping ban that will conclude prematurely in November following an appeal.
He is entering the final year of his contract in Amsterdam and had been linked with Arsenal over a bargain €6m-€9 million ($7-10 million) deal.
Overmars believes Onana is one of the top five goalkeepers in Europe. But most intriguingly, he left the door ajar to a sale this window.
Overmars told the Sun, “Of course, in the complex case of Onana, it is quite difficult to determine the correct amount. For some clubs, it is also an opportunity to buy this keeper. Because if he is under contract longer and not suspended, he is worth $30 million. If it was me, I would have acted quickly [and tried to sign him]. If you can wait six months, then he can sign on a free transfer. He is a top five goalkeeper in Europe. If you put down all the keepers, he will be in fifth or sixth place.
The former Gunner added, “I get that clubs are trying to sign him because once his signature is secured, his value skyrockets as he is a very good 25-year-old goalkeeper.”
- A TeamTalk report