Recent reports have surfaced suggesting that Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey may well be joining his compatriot Gareth Bale in Spain next season. Despite a current transfer embargo, Barcelona are reported to be lining up a £50 million offer for the Arsenal man, a rumour that has come to light just as Barcelona legend Xavi Hernandez announced he would be leaving the club this summer. Arsene Wenger was quizzed about the subject in his most recent press match conference, stating “it’s not a serious story” and shutting down any potential for further gossip about a move to flourish in the process. Even without Wenger’s words however, a move to Barcelona is absolutely ludicrous. Be it for Ramsey or any other player for that matter.
Ramsey himself has four years left on his current contract, so even if Barcelona were to lodge a bid for his services, it would take a lot more than the earmarked figure before the London club took the offer seriously. Also, given Barcelona are very much restricted from doing business of any sort. If any move were to happen, not only would it be a bitter loss for Arsenal but more importantly it would be a disgrace to football, highlighting the weakness of the governing bodies when faced with the demands of Europe’s top clubs. Allowing a club to operate outside an embargo would shame the organisations that sanctioned it and yet again prove that football is simply a playground for the rich and powerful. Wenger’s dismissal of the claim does not come as a surprise. What is surprising is that in the face of a player’s four year contract and a team forbidden to engage in transfer activity, such a rumour has even come to the fore. We can fully expect Ramsey to feature for Arsenal next season and there is unlikely to be any follow up to this story given the circumstances.
SIFTING THROUGH THE RUBBISH
However, another thing we can expect is that with Xavi departing from Barcelona after many successful years at the club, rumours of a replacement will become ever more prevalent. Even though they are banned from engaging in transfer activity, their name, along with those of Europe’s finest players, will no doubt be thrown about in a whirlwind of transfer gossip all throughout the summer. The transfer window, and the gossip that comes with it, is welcome in a time when no football is being played. The ‘will or won’t he’ aspect is exciting, its fun to speculate where certain players might end up.
Yet rumours such as this, with obvious obstacles standing in the way of it becoming anything more than just that, are laughable. There is taking a story with a pinch of salt, then there is tearing it up and erasing it from your mind. The saddest thing about it all is that that they are likely to continue, littering the back pages with drivel right up until the window shuts and all business is finally done.