CHELSEA are set to bid £30million for Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey as the Gunners fret over contract talks with the Welshman, according to reports.
Ramsey, 27, is highly thought of by new Arsenal boss Unai Emery and could be handed the captain’s armband in a ploy to retain his services as he enters the final 12 months of his current deal.
And London rivals Chelsea look set to throw a spanner in the works by offering Ramsey a way out, should he have concerns over a new Emirates deal.
The Mail on Sunday claim the Blues would be willing to pay the midfielder’s £30m asking price should he become available.
Emery has spoken of wanting five captains at the club as he looks to stamp his mark on the club he joined in May, taking over from Arsene Wenger after the Frenchman’s 22-year reign came to an end.
The 53-cap Welshman has worn the armband in all three of Arsenal’s pre-season friendlies, including the 5-1 demolition of PSG on Saturday.
Arsenal’s longest-serving player, Ramsey has made 327 appearances for the club since 2008, with two FA Cup final-winning strikes among his 58 goals.
This week Emery revealed he was confident Ramsey would put pen to paper on a new deal, saying: “I think Aaron is an important player for us.
“The contract is one thing for the club and then one thing for the player.
“I want him to stay with us, to work with us, to give the team big performances with his quality. I think he’s going to stay here with us.”
The player himself spoke on the issue this week but claimed his representatives were dealing directly with the club rather than with Emery.
Ramsey said: “We’ll see what happens, but my agent and the club are talking.
“I’m not sure exactly what it hinges on, I’m just leaving it to them to discuss and to figure it out but we are yet to come to an agreement.
“That’s something that my agent and the club are discussing to try and get something done.”
Asked how long he thought negotiations could go on, he responded: “I’m not sure exactly. It’s taken a bit of time so far so we will have to wait and see.”
Ozil, making his return to the squad after joining up from his post-World Cup holiday, started the game as captain and opened the scoring in the 13th minute.
The German was lauded by Emery after the game for his potential as a leader despite many questioning the decision to hand the role to him.
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Emery said: “I think he (Ozil) can take the responsibility, but let’s not forget Koscielny who is recovering with us. Then we’ve got Petr Cech, who captained us in a friendly match.
“Aaron Ramsey also captained us in a friendly and I am maybe thinking another one or two players can take responsibility for every player in the team.
“We are nearly finished, but like I am telling you, one (captain) is Koscielny but he’s injured.
“I am thinking about Petr, Aaron and Mesut. Then I need to find one or two more.”