Former Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey has revealed that he gave the green light to a new contract at the Emirates Stadium before leaving for Juventus on a free transfer.
The 31-year-old spent 11 years in red and white after being signed as a teenager from Cardiff City in 2008 and bode a tearful farewell to the North London club in 2019.
Ramsey was originally believed to have rebuffed the Gunners’ attempts to tie him down for longer due to his wage demands, which saw him make the switch to Juventus upon the expiration of his deal on a £400k-a-week contract.
The Wales international failed to regain his best form in Serie A and also struggled with injuries at Juventus, who loaned him out to Rangers earlier this year before his contract was terminated by mutual consent.
Ramsey is now attempting to reignite his career with Nice in Ligue 1, but the midfielder has admitted that he was left confused by his Arsenal exit after agreeing to a new contract before the offer was apparently rescinded.
“It all happened . . . I agreed to a contract they proposed. Things went quiet for a few weeks. I was telling my agent, ‘Let’s do it,’ then all of a sudden the contract was no longer there. So there was nothing to sign or agree,” Ramsey told The Times.
“It was a difficult start for a few months with Unai [Emery]. As the season was going on, I was playing more and playing really well. Then January came and I had to make a decision whether I carried on and saw what happened or whether I agreed somewhere.
“I decided to do that [move] because there was nothing on the table [from Arsenal]. There was a lot of change with the manager coming. I don’t understand, I still don’t know what exactly happened.
“I have no bad words or bad feelings to Arsenal. They are still a massive part of my life and I still look out for them and I am really glad to see them doing so well. I always have love for Arsenal and that will never change.”
Ramsey initially found it difficult to live up to his potential at Arsenal, but he retained the faith of Arsene Wenger and enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2013-14 with 10 goals and nine assists in 23 Premier League games.
The Welshman remained an integral player for the Gunners in the years that followed, scoring the winning goal in the 2014 and 2017 FA Cup finals against Hull City and Chelsea respectively.
Ramsey’s final season at Arsenal saw him register six goals and eight assists from 40 appearances during Unai Emery‘s debut year, but the Spaniard handed him just 14 starts in the Premier League.
In total, Ramsey scored 65 goals and set up 65 more in 371 appearances across all tournaments for Arsenal, while he only had six goals and six assists to his name from 70 Juventus matches.
The ex-Cardiff starlet scored on his debut for Nice against Toulouse in August’s Ligue 1 encounter, but he has only started two top-flight games for Les Aiglons so far and is due to become a free agent again next summer.
Ramsey is absent from Wales’s squad for September’s Nations League games with Belgium and Poland due to a hamstring injury, but there is hope that the 31-year-old will be fit for the World Cup.