Serie A giants Juventus are the latest gargantuan figure to emerge to sign Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey, whose contract expires at the Emirates at the end of the season.
The Old Lady, on the march this season for their eighth successive Scudetto, have leapfrogged Italian league rivals AC Milan in the pecking order for the 28-year-old Welshman, who has made over 350 appearances for the Gunners.
Milan – who, along with Bayern Munich, have been cited as a potential destination for Ramsey since his contract furore became apparent – were hoping to use the leverage of former Arsenal CEO Ivan Gazidis, now of the San Siro, to add him to their ranks.
Instead, according to Sky Sports Italia, Juventus may yet have won another battle over the Rossoneri by adding Ramsey to their burgeoning, intimidating squad once the off-season hits.
Though Arsenal are expected to see their long-term servant depart for nothing in the summer after contract renewal negotiations have failed to come into fruition, some shrewd moves in January could turn a potential embarrassment – seeing one of their most talented players swan off for free – into a deal that could mean certain Premier League rivals stand up and take notice.
For Arsenal, the right-side of midfield evidently remains a weakness, and with Henrikh Mkhitaryan ruled out for the next few months through an injury picked up in the League Cup defeat to Tottenham Hotspur, a speculative swap – plus a likely heavy cash incentive – for Juve winger Douglas Costa may turn out to be an absolute coup.
The move would could come roughly a year since no money was exchanged to see Mkhitaryan move down from Old Trafford, with star Alexis Sanchez heading the other way and nabbing Costa - a player heavily linked with a move to Manchester United after displacement by Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival at the Allianz - by using Ramsey as a makeweight could be a masterstroke from the North London side.
Bringing a player of Costa’s calibre to the club could prove pivotal in the race for a top four position.
Though Arsenal remain way ahead of the Red Devils by eight clear points following Unai Emery’s exceptional start at the helm, the 13-time Premier League champions have regained some of their swag following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s managerial appointment and haven’t discounted swiping a Champions League spot.