Aaron Ramsey quashes rumors of a £50m Barcelona move
Despite the yoke of a transfer ban until 2016, Barcelona have been sniffing around like a stray dog in heat, apparently unsated by last summer's signing of Luis Suárez (and Neymar the summer before) and the fact that they've already decimated La Liga to the tune of a +89 goal difference. Yes, Real Madrid are nipping at their heels, having finished just two points behind.
We'll find out soon if Barça will finish the season with yet another Champions League title. Their reported interest in Aaron Ramsey, though appears for now to have been quashed the Welsh Jesus.
Addressing the rumours, Ramsey had this to say:
I'm focusing on the FA Cup, so that's what appeals to me. [Barcelona's interest] is just something that's been written in the papers. I'm focused on Arsenal and winning the FA Cup. That sort of news doesn't affect me or even enter my mind.
The scorer of the game-winning goal in last season's FA Cup might just be offering the safe, placating response, and it might stretch things to suggest that the thought of joining one of the world's largest and most-successful clubs never entered his mind.
All the same, it's hardly the kind of distraction the lad needs as we attempt to win a second consecutive FA Cup, so it is good to hear that his head is in the right place. While he hasn't quite reached the levels of his spectacular 2013/14 campaign, he has been instrumental to our current campaign and will likely be a centre piece of our midfield, literallly and figuratively, for years to come.
This is not the same as saying he's untouchable, but it is similar to saying that £50m doesn't quite match his value to the club, now or in the future. I'm sure we all appreciate all that Alexis has done for us since leaving Barça, but we're not about to show our gratitude by shipping Ramsey off at a discount.
Arsène Wenger seems to agree, saying that the story "is not realistic. Barcelona know us well. They have gone through transfers with us. If they want someone, they call me."
It's hard to parse that fully, but it suggests that Barcelona have not called to inquire about Ramsey. If they have, Arsène sees their interest as unrealistic, and that's fine by me.
We'll turn our attention back to where it belongs, back to events that we know for sure will happen, and that's the FA Cup final.