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Former Arsenal striker Alan Smith believes Aaron Ramsey’s willingness to run down his contract stems from his fear of facing competition from Mesut Ozil, according to Goal.
The Wales international midfielder has spent a decade at the club, but is on the verge of leaving after the club withdrew their contract offer following protracted negotiations.
Smith is disappointed to see another high-profile player run down his contract after the Sanchez and Ozil saga of last year, and has questioned both the club and the player himself.
“I think we all hoped this kind of situation would cease to happen with [head of recruitment Sven] Mislintat coming and [head of football Raul] Sanllehi. Maybe they arrived a little too late. I don’t know.” He said.
“It’s difficult to really speak without knowing the details but maybe Mesut Ozil’s vast salary is the reason they’re not prepared to put Ramsey anywhere near it and he’s not prepared to sign.
“But then again who is going to give him that money? I don’t know. Where would he go? You would imagine his agent has already spoken to a few clubs so he’s got half an idea where he might end up.
“It would be a shame to lose him, it would be such a shame. I think, like a few players there, he can be developed into a top player.
“He’s pretty good as it is and he’s got this knack of scoring goals on the big stage and in important matches. It would be a blow if we lost him.”
“If you’re Ramsey, it’s your mission to make sure you are first choice ahead of Ozil and do everything you possibly can.
“He’s obviously going to work harder in terms of covering the ground so he offers something different to the German but I don’t think you can ever say they can’t possibly play in the same team.
“There’s always a way round it but maybe Ramsey feels he’s not going to be a regular choice and that’s what’s influencing his decision and it sounds like the contract offer has been withdrawn now.”