Arsenal have pulled out of talks to sign Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale after refusing to meet the Blades’ £30m asking price.
A new goalkeeper has been a key part of Arsenal’s summer recruitment plan ahead of the new campaign, with a central midfielder, centre-back and full-back already ticked off the list in Ben White, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Nuno Tavares respectively.
The Gunners had two bids for Ramsdale for rejected earlier this summer and were at one stage thought to be considering making a third offer of £18m plus add-ons, worth £25m in total.
However, football.london reports that Sheffield United have held firm at their £30m asking price and Arsenal made it clear to the Championship side they are not prepared to offer more than £20m.
Moving on from Ramsdale, they are now expected to continue their search for a goalkeeper to serve as an alternative to current number one Bernd Leno.
Arsenal’s plan had initially led them to Ajax stopper Andre Onana, who is currently serving a doping suspension after testing positive for a banned substance. His initial 12-month ban was reduced to nine after the Court of Arbitration accepted his defence that he took his wife’s medicine by mistake.
But the Gunners opted to pursue Ramsdale as a ‘home-grown’ alternative instead, though the 23-year-old will now not move unless the goalposts are significantly shifted.
For the time being Leno will start the new Premier League season as Arsenal number one, with Iceland international Runar Alex Runarsson to continue as back-up.
In addition to a goalkeeper, Arsenal are still looking to sign a creative midfielder before the transfer deadline at the end of the month. Leicester’s James Maddison has been of interest, while 90min revealed earlier this week that talks have continued over a permanent deal for Martin Odegaard.
Sporadic contact has been maintained with Real Madrid all summer following the Norwegian’s loan in north London during the second half of last season. There is also interest from the club in Barcelona’s Philippe Coutinho, but Odegaard is the player that manager Mikel Arteta particularly wants.