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Unai Emery has settled on his first choice Arsenal midfield for next season following positive contract talks with Aaron Ramsey.
The Wales international has just over a year remaining on his current deal, but is ready to commit the best years of his career to the club he joined almost exactly a decade ago.
Ramsey contributed 20 goals and assists combined in all competitions last season and Emery is said to have made it known during his own interview process that he intended to build his team around the 27-year-old’s attacking talents.
The Daily Telegraph claims Emery views Ramsey and Granit Xhaka, who signed a new long-term contract last week, as his two senior midfielders.
Arsenal are expected to complete the £26million signing of Lucas Torreira from Sampdoria after the World Cup with the tenacious midfielder set to undergo a medical imminently.
The lack of an authentic defensive screen had been identified as a clear deficiency in the squad Emery inherited from Arsene Wenger and the Spaniard believes Torreira is the ideal man to fill that void, with Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Mohamed Elneny, both of whom recently signed new contracts, providing competition in that area now that Jack Wilshere has departed.
Arsenal have already completed the signings of experienced Switzerland right-back Stephan Lichsteiner on a free transfer from Juventus and Germany international goalkeeper Bernd Leno from Bayer Leverkusen, while the signing of Borussia Dortmund centre-half Sokratis Papastathopoulos could be confirmed as early as Sunday.
Outlining the changes that have occurred since Wenger’s decision to stand down, Ivan Gazidis told fans last night:
‘We really have a collective effort now, in terms of how we identify players and then how we take forward our interest, and of course Unai is a huge part of that.
‘This is now a different way of doing things, one with a very, very accomplished team of professionals who we have spent time bedding into the club.
‘We have the challenge of integrating an awful lot of new ideas and new people and new energy. We have brought in a new head of recruitment in Sven Mislintat and alongside him is Huss Fahmy, who has been involved with negotiating a lot of our player contracts, and also we have Raul Sanllehi who joins us from Barcelona.
‘Unai has been in the thick of that process in terms of what we need in the squad. I don’t believe in bringing a player in that the coach does not want individually and also positionally.’