Sheffield United: Arsenal set to step up their interest in Aaron Ramsdale following another transfer snub

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Sheffield United expect Arsenal to return with another offer for Aaron Ramsdale, after Watford rebutted an attempt by Mikel Arteta’s side to lure their goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann to north London.

With Ramsdale showing no interest in agitating for a move away from Bramall Lane and United rejecting two unofficial bids, Arteta had switched his focus towards the Austria international who has just helped bring Premier League football back to Hertfordshire.

Bachmann was viewed by Arsenal as a cheaper alternative to Ramsdale, who United value at around £40m. But like Slavisa Jokanovic’s employers, who rejected two unofficial bids for Ramsdale last month, Watford refused to be lured to the negotiating table after deciding the sum their top-flight rivals were prepared to pay in exchange for Bachmann fell too far short of their own valuation.

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Sources at Bramall Lane admitted over the weekend they expect that snub will trigger renewed interest from Arsenal in Ramsdale, who was drafted into the England squad for the recent Euro 2020 tournament.

The 23-year-old’s conduct since returning from the tournament has prompted Slavisa Jokanovic, the new United manager, to speak openly about the prospect of him remaining in South Yorkshire next term.

“I don’t get the sensation they are unhappy,” the Serb said following Wednesday’s friendly against Doncaster Rovers, referring to Ramsdale and his team mate and fellow Arsenal target Sander Berge. “I hope they will be happy to stay here and work with their colleagues and also me.”

However, although Ramsdale’s professionalism has strengthened United’s hand, the biggest test of both their desire and ability to retain his services could be about to come.

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After showing their hand so publicly, it will be a major blow to Arsenal’s ego and reputation if they fail to secure competition for Bernd Leno. That is likely to see them redouble their efforts to trigger Ramsdale’s release, with the possibility of inviting United to cherry pick some of their home-grown talents being discussed by senior figures behind the scenes.

Ramsdale joined AFC Bournemouth soon after graduating from the Steelphalt Academy before rejoining United in an £18.5m deal last summer.