AARON RAMSEY will not sign a new Arsenal contract until he knows where he figures in Unai Emery’s plans.
The Welsh international is stalling on committing his long-term future to the club after ten years at the Emirates.
And it is isn’t just the financial terms which are holding up an agreement.
Ramsey, 27, was shocked to be axed from the starting line-up for the 3-2 defeat at Chelsea and is now trying to figure out where he fits into Emery’s team.
He has made it clear to the new boss that he sees himself as a central midfield player and does not want to play out wide.
But that puts him in direct competition with Mesut Ozil for the number ten role in Emery’s 3-2-1 formation.
And he does not want to hang around at the Emirates if he is going to be playing second fiddle to the £350,000-a-week German.
The club’s longest-serving player was unhappy at being made the scapegoat for the 2-0 opening day defeat by Manchester City, when he was replaced by Alexandre Lacazette ten minutes into the second-half.
But Ozil was just as unimpressed at being hauled off at Chelsea.
Emery insists he is keen to keep Ramsey at the Emirates and has named him as one of his five team captains.
He recently said: “I have told Ivan Gazidis and Raul Sanllehi that Ramsey is an important player for me.”
But Arsenal are struggling to meet the player’s £225,000-a-week wage demands after handing huge new contracts to Ozil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Alexandre Lacazette in the past year.
Ramsey, who currently earns around £110,000-a-week, is not looking for parity with top earner Ozil but is determined not to sell himself short.
He knows that will be free to negotiate a huge deal with one of Arsenal’s Premier League rivals if he allows his current deal o run down next summer.
And he is also aware that the longer the new contract offer remains unsigned, the more desperate Arsenal will become to meet his terms.
Ramsey told Sunsport during Arsenal’s recent pre-season tour: “My agent and the club are communicating about the contract but we’re yet to come to an agreement.
“I’ve still got a year left on my current deal and I’m a player who always gives 100 percent no matter what is going on behind the scenes.
“But I don’t feel under any pressure to sign a new deal because that is my decision and whatever I decide to do will be on me.”
Signed from Cardiff for £5million in 2008, Ramsey has made almost 350 appearances for the club in all competitions.
With eight days remaining before the world-wide transfer window closes, there is still an outside possibility that he could move to one of Europe’s big clubs this month.
But Arsenal have received no firm bids for the player so far and still value him at more than £30million despite his contractual situation.
And though they remain confident of eventually reaching an agreement, they are privately steeling themselves for the uncertainty to drag on beyond the New Year.
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