20/08/2021; 6:48 AM By : Steven D. Thompson
Since the departure of Emiliano Martinez from Arsenal in September 2020, Arsenal have been in the hunt for a top-quality goalkeeper to give competition to their number one goalkeeper Bernd Leno.
It appears that the hunt is nearing its end, with the Gunners believed to have agreed on a deal for Sheffield United goalkeeper, Aaron Ramsdale.
The loss of Martinez and the chase for Ramsdale received criticism from many quarters. The critics refused to exonerate Arsenal from the poor management of the goalkeeper affair.
Mikel Arteta had hoped to keep Emiliano Martinez at the Emirates, but the Argentine wanted the number one shirt, which Arteta could not guarantee. The lack of guarantees led to Martinez's departure, with Arteta scouring the market for another goalkeeper.
The goalkeeper chase was narrowed to Aaron Ramsdale, with Arteta going after his man all summer.
The Gunners are reportedly close to sealing a move for Ramsdale to Arsenal in a deal that could rise to £30m.
Ramsdale shone for the Blades in the Premier League last season even though they were relegated to the Championship. The Blades' misfortune did not dissuade Arteta from pursuing the goalkeeper.
The Athletic reports that Ramsdale will pen a deal that would see him at Arsenal for four years with an option for another year as well. The culmination of the transfer is subject to the player agreeing on personal terms with the Gunners.
The same report adds that the transfer fee to be around £24 million, with £6m as add-ons depending on a few variables.
Before Arsenal arrived at Ramsdale as the best fit for the team, they had looked at Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana and West Brom's Sam Johnstone.
With Onana still under a ban, he was seen as an adequate choice. The Cameroonian has international and Champions League experience under his belt, which meets the bar for Arsenal. The goalkeeper, however, preferred a team playing in the Champions League.
After a close look at Sam Johnstone, the club decided he didn't fit the bill, turning their gaze on Sheffield's Ramsdale.
Upon the failure to make headway with Onana, Ramsdale became the Gunners' primary focus. Perhaps the belief at the Emirates was that Sheffield's relegation would be motivation for the 23-year-old goalkeeper to jump at the chance to play top-flight football.
It wasn't as easy as they thought, with the Gunners seeing two initial bids rejected by the Blades. An improved bid from Arsenal seems to have done the trick as the deal is about to be sealed.