One of the worst kept secrets in football has finally been revealed.
The protracted move of Aaron Ramsey has finally been concluded, with both the player and the club releasing official statements declaring the transfer.
With Ramsey’s contract ending this summer, it meant that discussions between the player and prospective new clubs could begin in earnest this winter, and rumour has it that the queue of clubs in talks to lure the Welshman was a long one that involved PSG, Real Madrid and Barcelona.
But it is Juventus that have won the race for his signature, and it will see the midfielder join forces with former teammate Wojicech Szczesny at the Turin club. The deal will also make him the highest paid British player in the world in regard to basic wage - thanks in part to the avoidance of a transfer fee which can then be converted into wages to attract the player.
Much has been made already of his astronomical wages and whether these are just another step on the road to footballing madness. If common sense is applied then no player is worth this amount, but in terms of where the sport is right now, then while still high, Ramsey could have earned near this elsewhere.
The declaration from Ramsey spoke of his eleven great years in North London, and the special memories he will always treasure. Surely among those will be his two Cup Final winners against Hull City and Chelsea.
This extended saga began last summer, with talks between Arsenal’s backroom and Ramsey’s agent breaking down due to reported wage demands. An offer was on the table and this was rejected by the player, although the deal stayed on the table.
Eventually, even this offer was rescinded, but wage demands were not wholly the reason for the Wales midfield man leaving the club for pastures new. Much of it is down to new boss Unai Emery not favouring a system that allows Ramsey to fulfill his favoured role - that of a number 8 that involves late running into the box from deep. Emery has no need for this type of player, and has used Ramsey in a traditional number ten or as a central man - much to Ramsey’s chagrin.
Still, he has remained professional to the nth degree, even though his appearances have been sporadic at best.
Ramsey is responsible for some of the greatest recent moments in our history, and in his statement he mentioned perhaps making some more before his time runs out as a Gunner.
Let us hope he can do just that.