Ramsey opts for the Gunners
Tuesday 10 June 2008
Aaron Ramsey has chosen to place his future in the hands of Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger after shunning offers from Manchester United and Everton.
The 17-year-old Cardiff midfielder was given the option of joining any of the Barclays Premier League trio after they met the Welsh club's valuation, which Bluebirds chairman Peter Ridsdale has confirmed as £5million.
And the FA Cup finalists revealed this morning that after a week of negotiations, Ramsey had opted for Emirates Stadium and Wenger's proven track record for nurturing world-class youngsters.
The Gunners were reported to have flown the Welshman out to Basle at the weekend for discussions with Wenger, who is in Switzerland and Austria to fulfil media commitments at Euro 2008.
But it appears his mind had already been made up by then.
A potential sticking point to the transfer was seemingly Arsenal's unwillingness to loan Ramsey back to City next season - something United were prepared to do.
And Ridsdale has candidly admitted that he would have liked the hotly-tipped teenager to move to Old Trafford.
"We would have much preferred him to remain as a Cardiff City player or returned here on loan next season had he gone somewhere else," Ridsdale told BBC Sport.
"The only deal with a loan-back option was with Manchester United but ultimately it is up to the player to decide where he wants to go.
"In an ideal world I would have wished him to go to Manchester United were to he to leave us, but we have to be careful as we have relationships with Arsenal and want to do business with them in the future."
On the nature of Arsenal's bid, he added: "It is a very straightforward, no strings attached £5million cash offer - simple."
Ramsey's preference for north London was confirmed by Cardiff this morning.
"Cardiff City were informed on Friday morning that Aaron Ramsey's preferred destination this summer is at the Emirates Stadium with Arsenal," a statement on www.cardiffcityfc.co.uk read.
"We will now continue the dialogue with the Gunners with a view to Aaron's move being completed.
"The move, unlike other options, however, does not include a loan-back period at Ninian Park for the 2008-09 season."
After making his Bluebirds debut as a substitute against Hull in April 2007, Ramsey made 21 appearances last season, scoring twice.
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