Aaron Ramsey has signed a staggering £400,000-a-week pre- contract deal at Juventus that will net him £83million over four years.
The Serie A giants confirmed on Monday that Wales international Ramsey had signed a four-year agreement ahead of joining in the summer when his current deal with Arsenal expires.
Ramsey wrote on social media on Monday night: ‘I wanted to issue a personal statement for all the Arsenal fans who have been extremely loyal and supportive.
‘You welcomed me as a teenager and have been there for me through all the highs and lows I’ve encountered during my time at the club. It is with a heavy heart I leave after 11 incredible years in north London.
‘I will continue to give the team 100 per cent and hope to finish the season strongly before heading to my next chapter in Turin.’
Ramsey will become one of only six British players to sign for Juventus. Two of them were also Welsh — John Charles and Ian Rush. But whereas Charles picked up just £20 a week, Ramsey will join football’s highest earners at a club that already boasts Cristiano Ronaldo, who earns £28m a year.
Ramsey completed a two-part medical with Juventus last month and will join the club on July 1 — bringing to an end his 11-year career at Arsenal.
An Arsenal statement read: ‘Everyone at Arsenal Football Club wishes Aaron Ramsey a happy and successful future.
‘Aaron has made a fantastic contribution to our club since joining from Cardiff City in 2008. He has always been a consummate professional and will always have a special place in the hearts and memories of Arsenal fans around the world.’
Meanwhile, the future of Mesut Ozil has been plunged into deeper uncertainty following his latest no-show.
The German midfielder missed Saturday’s win at Huddersfield after reporting sick. Ozil has now missed as many games as he has played this season due to illness, persistent back problems, a niggling knee injury or being left out.
The fact that he effectively ruled himself out of contention for the clash against Huddersfield has added to internal concerns over why the club’s top earner is missing so many games.
Manager Unai Emery has tried to give him an opportunity to revive his flagging Gunners career, even making the 30-year-old — who earns £350,000 a week — captain in some matches.
But there is obvious concern over why Ozil is so regularly unavailable. The midfielder’s fitness and wellbeing will be closely monitored in the coming weeks. Ozil also missed games towards the end of last season.
It is a situation that Emery could do without ahead of Arsenal’s Europa League last 32 tie against BATE Borisov, with the first leg in Belarus on Thursday. The Gunners have the weekend off ahead of next week’s return leg having been knocked out of the FA Cup.
They face an uphill task to qualify for next season’s Champions League, as they are fifth in the Premier League — a point adrift of Manchester United.