Arsenal are reportedly on the verge of finalising an agreement worth an initial £24 million for Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.
According to a report from The Athletic, Arsenal are set to reach an agreement with EFL Championship club Sheffield United for the transfer of goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.
A product of the Blades youth academy, the 23-year-old Ramsdale left the club to join Bournemouth in search of first-team action and made his breakthrough in the 2019/20 campaign. And although the Cherries ended up getting relegated, the Englishman came away with some credit for his performances.
The summer of last year saw Ramsdale return to Sheffield United as a replacement for Dean Henderson. Once again, the goalkeeper would become a part of the team that faced relegation from the Premier League, even though he did manage to make an impression with his displays between the sticks, which is why he was called up to the England squad for the Euros after Henderson’s injury.
Back in the second division with the Blades, Ramsdale has once again been linked with a swift return to the Premier League, with Arsenal chasing his signing for the most part of the summer. The Gunners are in the market for a backup goalkeeper as Runar Alex Runarsson’s move last year has failed to work out as planned.
Furthermore, Bernd Leno, who is the current first-choice, remains unconvincing at times. And with his contract up in a couple of years, there could be a situation where Arsenal are forced to cash in on him next summer in case an extension is not offered or agreed upon. In such a scenario, having someone like Ramsdale who could step in and take over the No. 1 goalkeeper’s mantle would make sense.
Arsenal, to that end, have been locked in talks with Sheffield United for a while now, with the Blades initially demanding a transfer fee of £40 million for him. After a while, it looked like a deal was set to be agreed at a lower price, only for the negotiations to collapse, leaving Ramsdale high and dry.
The 23-year-old, however, remained intent on moving to Arsenal this summer, and after talks with agents and intermediaries, the Championship club have agreed to lower their demands. A deal worth an initial £24 million is now close to being agreed upon, with Arsenal also due to pay £6 million in add-ons, which will only come into force if and when Ramsdale becomes Arteta’s established first-choice.
The report adds that Arsenal also have a four-year contract on the table for the 23-year-old with an option of another additional twelve months. With a deal for Martin Odegaard also on the verge of completion, the Gunners are hoping to have the two players signed and delivered before they take on Chelsea at the weekend.