Arsene Wenger has suggested Aaron Ramsey would still be an Arsenal player next season if he was in charge of the Premier League club.
Juventus confirmed earlier this month that they had agreed a deal to sign Wales midfielder Ramsey at the end his contract in June, ending an 11-year association with the Gunners.
Unai Emery replaced Wenger after more than 21-and-a-half years at the helm for the start of this season and Ramsey had often been deployed as a substitute under the ex-Sevilla boss.
The 28-year-old's switch to Juve was long mooted but, speaking at the Laureus World Sport Awards – where he received a lifetime achievement prize – Wenger claimed there had been a change of heart after his own Emirates Stadium departure.
"In the case of Ramsey, it's not a question at all of [running down his] contract, not at all," he said.
"I think it was not a financial situation and not a desire of the player to leave. But, as long as I was there, I was convinced that the player would stay.
"What happened after, I don't know. It was not a financial problem, not a desire to leave problem."
Ramsey will reportedly be handsomely remunerated for his services in wage terms, having joined Juventus on a free transfer.
Wenger feels this factor, along with spiralling transfer prices for elite players, is increasingly influential and gives an incentive for players not to commit to contract extensions ahead of time.
"It's very simple: the transfer market is so big now that they think 'if I run out my contract, I will not get the whole [outlay of the] transfer [but] I get the big part of it'," he explained, having seen star names Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil enter the closing stages of their Arsenal deals on his watch.
"Adding that to inflation means that the financial incentive for a player is to run out his contract. You'll see that more and more, because a good player today [costs] between 50 and 100 million.
"So, the player will not be bought for that price. His interest is to run the contract down and say to the club who wants to buy him 'okay, I don't want 50 [million], but I want a part of it'."
23 de marzo 2019
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