Aaron Ramsey’s three years at Juventus have not come close to panning out how he would have hoped, so his next move will be an important one.
After winning the Serie A title under Maurizio Sarri during his first season in Turin, the Welsh international quickly saw things go south. Injuries disrupted his second year with the Bianconeri, while the return of Max Allegri as manager in 2021 saw his opportunities limited.
A loan spell at Rangers last season didn’t deliver the turnaround he might have hoped for, with a missed penalty in the Europa League final capping a disappointing few months. A permanent return to Glasgow looks unlikely, but the same goes for another chance to assert himself in a Juve shirt.
According to Gianluca di Marzio, negotiations are ongoing to release Ramsey from his contract early. The midfielder’s deal expires in 2023, but Juve are said to be ready to rip it up ahead of the upcoming season.
There’s no question that the 31-year-old needs game time. He still has a big part to pay at international level, as Wales have made their first World Cup in his lifetime, and match sharpness will be key going into the tournament in Qatar.
That game time won’t come at Juve, and it looks like it won’t happen with Rangers either. Ramsey still has options, though, and Mirror Football has taken a look at where he could move to revive his career.
Ramsey broke through at Cardiff as a teenager and has already returned to the club once. Back in 2011, as he pushed to return to full fitness at Arsenal after a serious injury, he played a handful of games for the Bluebirds and even scored in a Championship win against Leicester.
He also has plenty of fond memories of the Welsh capital from his time playing international football at the Millennium Stadium. Most recently, that took the form of a 90-minute run-out as Rob Page’s side beat Ukraine to qualify for the World Cup.
Cardiff failed to land Gareth Bale this summer, with the forward joining LAFC and owner Vincent Tan admitting it was hard to compete with the MLS side’s finances. Could Tan still wind up with a Welsh star at the Cardiff City Stadium by the end of the summer, though?
After taking over at D.C. United, Wayne Rooney pledged to make new additions to his squad. The team have been struggling in MLS, with the play-offs looking like a distant dream, but the new boss will want a marquee arrival who can make a similar impact to the one he made himself as a player in Washington.
The Designated Player rule means not every team in Major League Soccer would be able to sanction a move for a player like Ramsey. However, with Taxi Fountas the only D.C. player with a big-money contract, there should be space for more.
Even so, Ramsey would need to take a pay cut to cross the Atlantic. Few clubs – if any – would be willing to match the huge wages he agreed with Juve upon joining the club on a free transfer in 2019.
Nottingham Forest have been one of the busiest teams in Europe this summer, recruiting from far and wide as they prepare for a season back in the Premier League. Jesse Lingard became the latest arrival, joining after the expiry of his Manchester United contract, and the number of new signings has already reached double figures.
There’s already a strong Welsh presence around the City Ground. Brennan Johnson and manager Steve Cooper were at Forest for their promotion campaign, and they have been joined this summer by Wayne Hennessey and Neco Williams.
With Qatar looming, a chance to link up with more members of Page’s squad could be valuable. The question is whether Forest need another new recruit after doing so much already this summer?
Even as recently as January, Ramsey seemed to have plenty of Premier League options. There may be fewer now, but Everton could offer an escape route.
Frank Lampard already knows plenty about the Welshman, having played against him during his own time as a Premier League midfielder. He’s also after reinforcements in the middle, with loanee Donny van de Beek returning to parent club Manchester United.
Finances have been an issue for the Merseyside club this summer, as they were a year ago, with James Tarkowski the only new addition so far after joining from Burnley on a free transfer. However, if they’re able to invest some of the £60million Tottenham paid for Richarlison, potential free transfers like Ramsey could be the answer.
As someone who has already tried his hand on the continent, we can’t rule out the prospect of Ramsey leaving for another league outside the United Kingdom. A reunion with Andrea Pirlo in Turkey was mooted earlier in the summer, while there could still be appetite from elsewhere.
While PSV haven’t actively been linked, there’s a reason for including them here. Another player whose career looked to have hit a dead end, Mario Gotze, was able to turn things around at Philips-Stadion and gain a much-needed second wind.
Gotze has now moved on and will play Champions League football with Eintracht Frankfurt this season, so there could be a vacancy for another big name who has fallen on hard times. New manager Ruud van Nistelrooy knows a great deal about the Premier League too, having left the competition as Ramsey was just getting started.