Aaron Ramsey and Ivan Gazidis. Until there is clarity on their respective futures, it looks like Unai Emery is going to spend a lot of time taking and answering questions about the both of them.
As has been well documented, Ramsey’s contract situation remains unresolved, he’s a free agent next summer and is yet to agree on an extension, and CEO Gazidis, despite a wishy-washy statement from the board, is still being heavily linked with a move to AC Milan.
Facing the press after the Gunners 3-1 penalty shootout defeat to Atletico Madrid in Singapore, our new head coach did his best to temper suggestions his camp is being unsettled by either issue and even sounded an optimistic note about the Welshman.
“Football changes every day,” said Emery. “It’s not easy, but it does change. I was thinking about the match today, then preparation for the match Saturday. I think Aaron is an important player for us.
“The contract is one thing for the club and then one thing for the player. I want him to stay with us, to work with us, to give the team big performances with his quality. I think he’s going to stay here with us.”
And on Gazidis he added: “For me, every day we are having meetings together and speaking about the Arsenal project.
“We always speak about how we can improve, how we can work together to give the club all the quality we can. When I arrived here, the first meeting was with Ivan.
“For me, he’s a very good person, a very good professional and he has a lot of experience in the football world. I don’t know what he’s going to do because I only speak with him about the Arsenal project.”
One suspects that Emery, who last year had to deal with the Neymar-led media circus at Paris Saint Germain, isn’t going to get sucked into playing anything other than a straight bat with the British press.