Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey holds power in contract talks, says Dominic Fifield

"Like any player that’s run down his contract, that does put him in a position of power to negotiate what happens next.”

Aaron Ramsey during Arsenal v Watford
Image: Aaron Ramsey will be out of contract at Arsenal at the end of the season

Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey holds the power in negotiations over a new contract, says Dominic Fifield, and he is still a player with quality.

Sky sources reported this week that talks between Ramsey and Arsenal over a new deal have broken down, with the Gunners potentially losing him on a free transfer at the end of the season.

But Fifield, the Guardian's London football correspondent, believes the situation will only strengthen Ramsey's position and he can still offer a lot to another club, should he move elsewhere.

Ramsey contract talks break down

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When asked if Ramsey holds the power, he told The Sunday Supplement: "Yes he is, because if he resists being sold in January then he'll command a higher wage at his next club. That's the reality of it.

"I guess he might find his opportunities at Arsenal to play in the second half of the season, if he's still there, more limited than he would like, but he's still a player whose pedigree and quality is very obvious.

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"He is a consistent performer in a team where people like Mesut Ozil aren't consistent, so whoever brings him in knows what they are getting from him.

preview image 1:35
Arsenal manager Unai Emery says contract disputes are a regular part of professional football because players' careers only last 10-15 years

"Like any player that's run down his contract, that does put him in a position of power to negotiate what happens next."

Arsenal find themselves involved in another saga surrounding player contracts, with Alexis Sanchez - who eventually moved to Manchester United - and Mesut Ozil under the spotlight last season.

The latter did extend his stay at the Emirates, but The Mail on Sunday's chief football writer Rob Draper says Arsenal need to improve their process of negotiating new contracts.

"My reading of it is, if you stay out of the Champions League for two years, you have to make some hard choices," he added.

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Highlights from Arsenal's 2-0 win over Watford in the Premier League

"Arsenal's wage bill is pushed to its absolute max because they've signed up Mesut Ozil, they've signed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Alexandre Lacazette was a record signing and that was all before the Unai Emery era so he has no wiggle room.

"If you are going to pay someone around £200,000 a week, you've got to be sure he's your number two or three player. My guess is Emery probably doesn't think that. He's a very good player who you'd want in your squad but they seem to have pre-empted the situation because they don't want to get into the Sanchez or Ozil 'will they or won't they sign' disaster of last January and said 'actually we can't go to that level'.

The Sunday Supplement

"They've got to find an Aaron Ramsey who will play for them for £100,000 a week. They've got to start being smarter at contract negotiations but overall they've got to stop players running down their contracts, which has been a problem at Arsenal for years and years and years.

"Essentially Arsenal are not the financial force they were three years ago and they now have to be more judicious with where they spend their money."

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