Arsenal still refusing to show their hand in the battle for Sheffield United's Aaron Ramsdale

Arsenal are still to make formal contact with Sheffield United regarding their interest in Aaron Ramsdale, although officials at Bramall Lane still expect them to submit a bid for the goalkeeper.

Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 3:30 pm

As The Star revealed earlier this month, officials at the Emirates Stadium have used a network of intermediaries to make both their counterparts in South Yorkshire and Ramsdale himself aware of their desire to sign him.

The veracity of that report was last night confirmed by sources close to Mikel Arteta’s side. However, although one is thought to be imminent, they were unable to provide any indication of when one might materialise.

Slavisa Jokanovic, who started work as United manager on July 1, confirmed he will attempt to fend-off any approach for Ramsdale during his first media conference in charge.

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LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 11: Aaron Ramsdale, Bukayo Saka and Ben Chilwell of England look dejected as they applaud fans after the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Final between Italy and England at Wembley Stadium on July 11, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Aged 23 and having only rejoined the Championship club from AFC Bournemouth at the beginning of last season, Ramsdale has no desire to agitate for a move. Indeed, speaking before he was drafted into the England squad for this summer’s Euro 2020 tournament, the former under-21 international spoke about his desire to “put down roots” after being loaned to Chesterfield and AFC Wimbledon during his time in Dorset.

However, following United’s relegation from the Premier League, Arsenal believe the prospect of both top-flight football and a huge increase in salary could ultimately prove impossible for Ramsdale to resist.

Sam Johnstone of West Bromwich Albion, who also helped Gareth Southgate’s squad reach the final of the competition, is viewed by Arteta’s employers as a potential alternative. But Ramsdale, valued at around £40m by United, is the Basque’s preferred option.