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Saturday 10 December 2016

Aaron Ramsey future lies in Spain as Barcelona show interest

Jeremy Wilson

Published 25/07/2015 | 02:30

Everton's James McCarthy, right, vies for the ball with Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey during their soccer match for the Asia Trophy in Singapore, Saturday, July 18 (AP Photo/Joseph Nair)
Everton's James McCarthy, right, vies for the ball with Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey during their soccer match for the Asia Trophy in Singapore, Saturday, July 18 (AP Photo/Joseph Nair)

Aaron Ramsey has revealed for the first time that he would eventually like to play in Spain and has described Barcelona's interest in him as "flattering".

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The 24-year-old midfielder has stressed that his immediate future is with Arsenal, with whom he has a contract until 2019, but an admission that he would eventually like to follow Gareth Bale to La Liga will be noted with interest both in Catalonia and north London.

Barcelona have a transfer ban until 2016 but are understood to have scouted Ramsey and there were reports in May of a future £50m bid.

"Obviously it's very flattering," he said. "They did the treble last year and it's just really nice to be linked with one of the best clubs in the world.

"One day I would like to go over to Spain to play just to see what it's like and to experience that.

"But at the moment I'm with Arsenal and I feel like this Arsenal team can go and be successful and challenge for things.

"Hopefully I can be one of the best midfielders in the world, that's what drives me on, to try and achieve that and to try and go on and win many things."

Significant

Ramsey's own role in the Arsenal team is potentially also significant, with manager Arsene Wenger having ended last season by playing him wide on the right rather than his favoured position in the centre.

The three central places were taken by Santi Cazorla, Francis Coquelin and Mesut Ozil last season but it is the more flexible midfield role of Cazorla's that Ramsey wants.

"I just want to stay fit and healthy this season, have a full campaign and get my place back in the middle of the park, because that's where I feel that I play my best football," said Ramsey.

"I want to have the freedom to go forward but also, once we're defending, I'll obviously have to get back in. I don't want to be fixed in front of the back four or in the hole, I want to be the one who can do both and get up and down."

Ramsey will be part of the Arsenal squad for the Emirates Cup this weekend, with Arsenal facing Lyon today at 4.20 and then Wolfsburg tomorrow at the same time.

Danny Welbeck will miss the start of the Premier League season after Wenger revealed that he had not made his expected return to training.

Welbeck has not played since the end of April after bruising a knee but is due to start running this weekend and, if all goes well, could return in three weeks.

(© Daily Telegraph, London)

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