Emery eyes Zielinski as Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey replacement

Arsenal boss Unai Emery has set his sights on Napoli ace Piotr Zielinski as a replacement for Aaron Ramsey, according to Sport Mediaset.

What’s the word?

A major twist in the saga of Aaron Ramsey’s future emerged last week, with it widely being reported that Arsenal have pulled out of negotiations and the Wales international is therefore set to leave in 2019 – potentially on a free transfer at the end of the campaign.

The loss of the 27-year-old would see Arsenal lose their longest-serving player and would be the biggest indicator of the wholesale changes the Gunners are moving towards under Emery, following two decades of Arsene Wenger at the helm.

Arsenal would prefer to sell Ramsey in January in order to receive a fee for his services and Sport Mediaset names Napoli’s Piotr Zielinski as the man that Emery has identified as the ideal replacement for the two-time FA Cup final goalscorer.

Can he be signed?

The difficulty for Arsenal is that negotiating a deal with Napoli for Zielinski is going to be a tough task, with the Italian giants determined to retain the 24-year-old midfielder who has become an integral part of their side with over 100 appearances.

Tied down with the club until 2021, the Gunners will likely have to pay more than his £28.8m value on Transfermarkt and a deal is perhaps only, therefore, an option if Ramsey is sold in January as Arsenal are financially restricted.

However, Zielinski would be a fine asset as the attacking midfielder could also be seen as a long-term successor to World Cup-winning midfielder Mesut Ozil in Arsenal’s No.10 role, while he can also be utilised in a wider position if necessary.