We need to talk about Aaron Ramsey.
Out of contract at the end of the season, the midfielder's future shifted back into the spotlight with the start of a new year. There seems to be a certainty when it comes to the Wales international – he will not be staying at Arsenal beyond the 2018-19 campaign.
The Gunners have joined their minds as talks collapsed.
"We all know that the contract was tasks away from the table." I confused Ramsey said in October. Now it is January 2019 and it is free to sign a pre-contract agreement with a team from outside of England.
Unsurprisingly, a number of high-profile clubs are reportedly keen. A player or such pedigree normally comes at a cost in terms of a transfer fee, but Ramsey is a coveted free agent who has a career-altering decision to make.
So, will it be the game and end up staying in the Premier League, or could the 28-year-old commit to work in France, Germany, Italy or Spain in the coming weeks? We take a look at the potential landing spots …
– Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) January 1, 2019
Premier League alternatives
Having joined in 2008 from hometown club Cardiff City, it will be up to see Ramsey lining up in the Premier League for anyone else than Arsenal.
Still Alex Alexlade-Chamberlain, who was blossoming at Liverpool before suffering a serious knee injury.
Ramsey has been joined with his former team-mate at Anfield, as well as joining forces again with another ex-Gunner at Alexis Sanchez at Manchester United, albeit he may not be a member of the Red Devils until knowing the identity or their next permanent manager.
Rather than head north, the Wales international could make a switch to his current home and sign for Chelsea. Such a move would be bridges with Arsenal supporters, though, as Ashley Cole can testify.
Ramsey's preferred destination, according to some media outlets. The Italian champions could be set to a Premier League team for a player out of contract again, having tempted Emre Can to leave Liverpool in 2018.
So, would he fit in at Juve? Yes, according to an iconic Italian international with strong Bianconeri connections. "Juventus are preparing another excellent deal He is a strong player and could do well," Andrea Pirlo said.
When talking about a fellow midfielder in such glowing terms, it is difficult to ignore. Such words could help Ramsey when he weighs up potential landing spots.
According to a report in Italy late in December, Inter had a verbal agreement with Ramsey. The Nerazzurri are an attractive option, sitting in the table, the carrot of potential Champions League football in 2019-20 like many of the other rumored suitors.
They are not afraid to move in the transfer market, either. Inter bolstered their midfield options before the current campaign by signing Radja Nainggolan from Serie A rivals Roma, but the Belgian has struggled to make an impact at San Siro so far. Could Ramsey be set to arrive as a replacement?
The Bundesliga giants are not short of midfield options – they are stocked in the position, despite the long-term absence of Corentin Tolisso, who has been out since September with a knee injury.
However, that does not mean that Ramsey's experience and caliber. An overhaul of the squad sometimes at Bayern, and the Wales international would provide a box-to-box threat that is missing on the current roster.
With Adrien Rabiot 1 year ago, Leah 1 leaders, PSG, were welcome in Ramsey with a gap in their star-studded squad.
It is not hard to see the temptation in playing regularly alongside Neymar and Kylian Mbappe – if the duo both remain in the French capital, or course – in a team that dominates domestically. A recent report in the French media, PSG sporting director Antero Henrique has been in regular contact with Ramsey's agent, too.
If Serie A is not to Ramsey's taste and French football fails to appeal, how about Spain instead? Moving to Madrid has one major advantage – it allows Ramsey to join forces with Gareth Bale at club level.
The one concern about making Santiago Bernabeu his new home may be the stiff competition for places, though. Seasoned stars Toni Kroos and Luka Modric are no matter who is in charge, while the hugely talented Isco has struggled for minutes since Santiago Solari's appointment.