Sheffield United: Blades send a message to Arsenal as the battle for Aaron Ramsdale begins to hot up

Sheffield United have told Arsenal their first official bid for Aaron Ramsdale is already destined to be rejected, as new manager Slavisa Jokanovic fights to keep the goalkeeper at Bramall Lane.

Friday, 23rd July 2021, 5:00 am

Although the Premier League club have already made several informal offers, which were submitted via intermediaries, sources in both north London and South Yorkshire report they are now poised to break cover by making actual contact with United’s hierarchy.

But with Mikel Arteta’s side set to table a package worth around £30m, agents granted the authority to act on United’s behalf have already made it clear that will be rejected. Relegated from the top-flight last term, their owner HRH Prince Abdullah bin Musa’ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud’s footballing advisors believe Ramsdale is worth at least £10m more after being summoned into the England squad for the recent European Championships.

Despite recognising the prospect of a move to the Emirates Stadium and an immediate return to the top-flight will be a tremendous pull, Jokanovic, who took charge of United following their relegation last season, is determined to keep hold of the 23-year-old. Indeed, he is thought to have been encouraged by the outcome of his private talks with Ramsdale, which took place after Gareth Southgate’s squad were beaten by Italy in the final of the tournament.

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United’s hierarchy are also determined to remain resolute, in the face of the mounting pressure being applied on them by Arteta’s employers.

The asking price United set was designed to persuade Arsenal to pursue West Bromwich Albion’s Sam Johnstone instead. But if they meet it, or come close, it could prove increasingly difficult for United to resist as they look to soften the financial blow of surrendering their elite level status.

United re-signed Ramsdale for £18.5m last summer, three years after selling him to AFC Bournemouth for around £1m. Although the size of the fee raised eyebrows at the time, his progress since has since confirmed the wisdom of that decision.

Ramsdale was named United’s player of the year following a series of impressive displays during the second half of the campaign, beating leading goalscorer David McGoldrick to the award.

Aaron Ramsdale on England duty: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images