Aaron Ramsey must maintain focus until January despite Arsenal contract standoff, insists Unai Emery

The Wales international looks set to leave the Emirates Stadium after extension talks broke down

Thursday 18 October 2018 14:53
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Aaron Ramsey needs to maintain his current level of performance and professionalism until January despite his contract standoff with Arsenal, manager Unai Emery has insisted.

Arsenal withdrew a contract offer to Ramsey in September amid reports that the Welshman was demanding pay parity with the likes of Mesut Ozil, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as part of any extension.

The breakdown in talks means that Ramsey is now set to be a free agent next summer and can negotiate with interested clubs from 1 January, though he has confirmed that he will not look to leave the Emirates Stadium before the end of the season.

Ramsey appeared to reference his contract situation with an arms-out celebration after providing an audacious flicked finish to a sensational team move in Arsenal’s 5-1 victory over Fulham prior to the October international break.

Emery, however, reiterated that his only concern is making sure his team continues to succeed on the pitch.

“I want his performance to be like the other players',” Emery said. “For example, in the last match he started on the bench, then he played 25 minutes with this performance.

Ramsey scored a spectacular goal in Arsenal's rout of Fulham

“On Monday [at home against Leicester City in the Premier League] it's the same if he starts in the first XI or on the bench, to come with the focus for this match to help us. It's not different [than it is] for other players.

“For me January is very far [away]. I'm thinking about Monday's match first. I want every player to stay OK, with the mentality to prepare, to play and [be] together to win.”

Ramsey joined Arsenal as a prized teenager from Cardiff City in the summer of 2008 and has made 338 appearances in all competitions for the club, scoring 59 goals, including the winning strikes in FA Cup final wins against Hull City in 2014 and Chelsea in 2017.

Manchester United, Liverpool and Everton have all been credited with an interest in signing Ramsey on a free transfer next summer.

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