Aaron Ramsey to be rewarded for Arsenal form with five-year £100,000-a-week new contract as he returns to full training
Gunners to be handed a double boost on the same day they also announce new deals for Per Mertesacker and Tomas Rosicky
Tuesday 04 March 2014
Aaron Ramsey will be rewarded for his impressive form in the first half of the season by being offered a hugely improved contract on a reported £100,000-a-week salary, just 15 months after putting pen to paper on his current deal.
The six-figure wage would put him second on the list of highest earners among the Gunners playing squad, second only to £42.5m signing Mesut Ozil, and despite having two years still to run on his deal, Arsenal look set to move to tie down the Welshman on a mammoth five-year extension.
It is believed that negotiations between the club’s hierarchy and Ramsey’s agent David Baldwin have been on-going over the past month, and the club hope to announce the extension in the near future – even before the end of this week.
Gunners’ supporters have already seen Per Mertesacker and Tomas Rosicky extend their stay at the Emirates on Tuesday by signing a three and two year extension respectively, but the move to tie-down Ramsey would be a further sign of intent that Arsenal really can challenge for the Premier League title in the years to come.
Their current title push suffered, in Arsene Wenger’s words, a “massive blow” in the 1-0 defeat to Stoke last weekend, which leaves his side four points off leaders Chelsea and down in third after Liverpool leapfrogged them thanks to their 3-0 win over Southampton.
However, they could be handed an even bigger boost with the news that Ramsey has returned to full training this week, having been out of action with a thigh injury that he picked up in the Boxing Day victory over West Ham.
Having initially been ruled out for up to six weeks, the midfielder aggravated the problem further towards the end of January, but while he will definitely miss this weekend’s FA Cup sixth round tie with Everton, he could return for the Champions League last-16 second leg clash with Bayern Munich. The Gunners are tasked with overturning a 2-0 deficit at the home of the European champions, but Ramsey was a prominent figure in their two-goal victory at the Allianz Arena, and his presence would certainly lift the rest of the squad in the hope of another victory on German soil this season, having already beaten Borussia Dortmund.
Ramsey’s new deal will come as reward for his commitment to the club – and vice versa – since joining Arsenal from Cardiff City for £5m in 2008. Suffering a horrendous double leg break in 2010 after clashing with Stoke’s Ryan Shawcross in a tackle, he looked to struggle on his return and appeared low on self-belief and confidence.
However, he sparkled prominently in an Arsenal squad that took the first half of the season by storm, scoring 13 goals before picking up the injury that has kept him out since December 26. It is this run of form that has led to club’s such as Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester City keeping an eye on him with regard to a transfer, but it seems Arsenal have won the battle to keep hold of his services.
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