Arsenal senior figure Edu encouraged Mikel Arteta to abandon the pursuit of Aaron Ramsdale because of Sheffield United’s massive asking price and were keen to pursue a cheaper alternative, according to the latest reports.
Despite the goalkeeper suffering relegation in successive campaigns, Arsenal agreed to pay £24 million up front plus a further £6 million in easily achievable bonuses.
But it appears not everyone at the Emirates was entirely convinced that the 23-year-old star was worth spending so much money on.
According to a report from The Athletic, the north London side’s interest in Ramsdale was driven predominantly by Mikel and when the Blades dug in over their demands the technical director Edu suggested an alternative.
He and his team of scouts felt there were cheaper variants who could do a similar job and proposed moving for Barcelona’s backup shot-stopper Neto instead.
Barca were ready to accept a fee of around £12 million for him but Mikel was adamant that he wanted to bring in the Englishman and managed to convince Arsenal to negotiate a deal with the Blades.
They feel that there are few young stoppers who can match Ramsdale for experience, with the ex-Bournemouth man having played more top-flight minutes than any other goalie in Europe aged 23 or under, and expect the player to become a mainstay in the side for many seasons to come.