Ramsey moving to Juve on five-year $62m deal

Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey, 28, is leaving Arsenal after 10 years at the end of this season on a free transfer.
Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey, 28, is leaving Arsenal after 10 years at the end of this season on a free transfer.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Aaron Ramsey has agreed a five-year deal with Juventus worth £36 million (S$62 million) and will join the Italian champions on a free transfer at the end of the season.

The 28-year-old Wales midfielder has been discussing a move for weeks and will leave Arsenal after 10 years. It had been clear he would move on in the summer and Juventus had been the front runners to secure his signature.

He will be paid around £140,000 a week, making him Juventus' second-highest earner behind Cristiano Ronaldo but ahead of Paulo Dybala and Douglas Costa.

Juventus, who have won the past seven Serie A titles, signed Ronaldo for €100 million (S$156 million) last summer and are on 53 points, nine clear of Napoli after 19 games.

They have reached two of the last four Champions League finals, losing to Barcelona in 2015 and Real Madrid in 2017.

They have reached the last 16 of Europe's top club competition this season, where they will face another Spanish side Atletico Madrid.

Juventus manager Max Allegri and director Fabio Paratici are huge admirers of Ramsey, who is set to be given a place in the starting XI, most likely with Miralem Pjanic and Blaise Matuidi in a three-man midfield.

He is likely to replace one of Emre Can, Rodrigo Bentancur and Sami Khedira, with the latter possibly leaving in the summer.

Ramsey signed for Arsenal from Cardiff for £4.8 million. He has played 252 top-flight games for the club, scoring 52 goals. He won three FA Cups, scoring the winning goal in the 2014 and 2017 finals.

He played arguably the best football of his career during Euro 2016 when Wales reached the semi-finals. But he was suspended for that match, which they lost 2-0 to eventual winners Portugal.

He has had his fair share of injury problems but Juventus are delighted to secure him on a free.

For Arsenal, who are playing in the second-tier Europa League for a second straight season, they will regret seeing a player in his prime leave under these circumstances.

With Arsenal choosing to renew the contract of Mesut Ozil, another star whose deal was due to expire this summer, they put themselves in a position where they could not re-sign Ramsey too, without keeping their £200 million annual wage bill under control.

Arsenal manager Unai Emery also had major reservations over both Ozil and Ramsey fitting into his plans and the style he wants to play.

THE GUARDIAN, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 11, 2019, with the headline 'Ramsey moving to Juve on five-year $62m deal'. Print Edition | Subscribe