Aaron Ramsdale: Why Arsenal's pursuit of Barcelona goalkeeper doesn't mean Sheffield United are out of the woods just yet with their No.1 goalkeeper

Arsenal have been linked with Neto, the Barcelona goalkeeper, as their search for a new stopper this summer intensifies – but that may not necessarily be the end of the saga as far as Sheffield United and Aaron Ramsdale are concerned.

Monday, 26th July 2021, 3:51 pm

Gunners boss Mikel Arteta identified Ramsdale as a player of interest this summer as he seeks someone to put pressure on undisputed No.1 Bernd Leno at the Emirates.

His attempts to make Ramsdale that man have so far been frustrated by United’s valuation of the England goalkeeper, who they believe is worth over double the fee they paid Bournemouth for his services last summer.

When news leaked of Arsenal apparently looking at West Brom’s Sam Johnstone, supposedly a Ramsdale alternative, this summer, there were some figures behind the scenes at Bramall Lane who wondered if that was a ploy designed to encourage them to the negotiating table.

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There remains the possibility that the interest was genuine, and Arsenal have tried to sign Neto before.

But Ramsdale remains Arteta’s top target and the Neto news may prove to be another attempted smokescreen in the battle for his services. In a further complication, Barcelona’s goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen is expected to be out until October, after undergoing knee surgery which forced him to miss the European Championships this summer, and Barca may be loath to lose his No.2 as things stand.

United have reportedly told Arsenal they have no intention of selling Ramsdale this summer, but are bracing themselves for an official and direct bid this week after two offers – made via intermediaries – were rejected.

Aaron Ramsdale of Sheffield United has been linked with a summer transfer to Arsenal (Alex Pantling/Getty Images)