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Unai Emery has identified Ever Banega as the player he wants to replace Aaron Ramsey and Arsenal will push ahead with a deal in January, according to reports. Wales international Ramsey, whose contract expires in the summer, had been engaged in productive talks with the Gunners over a renewal, but a deal was unexpectedly taken off the table last week. He is now set to leave the Emirates after a decade at the club, and the Daily Mail report that Arsenal are already putting plans in place to sign Banega as his replacement.
The Argentine playmaker worked under Emery at both Valencia and Sevilla and the Arsenal boss is confident he can play a key role for the Gunners, even at 30 years of age. Emery was keen to sign his former charge over the summer, and he will be available for just £18million due to a buy-out clause in his contract.
Arsenal’s move for Banega represents a significant shift in transfer policy, with Arsene Wenger having previously focused on younger players with massive upsides and re-sale potential. The Gunners will also have to make a decision on whether to sell Ramsey in January or let him leave for nothing when his deal expires in the summer.
Manchester United reportedly made an offer of £50m for the Welshman over the summer, though Arsenal will not get anywhere near that figure in January. Chelsea and Liverpool are also long-time admirers, while European giants Juventus have been mooted as a potential destination, and Arsenal would prefer to sell abroad if possible.