Emery swerves questions over Ramsey’s future at Arsenal

Aaron Ramsey’s future at Arsenal remains in doubt after Unai Emery gave little away over the midfielder’s contract situation.

Unai Emery refused to be drawn over Aaron Ramsey’s long-term future at Arsenal ahead of his side’s clash with Watford.

Midfielder Ramsey’s contract expires at the end of the season but negotiations over a new deal have stalled, leading to speculation the 27-year-old could leave on a free transfer.

Emery was asked on Friday whether he had urged the Arsenal board to retain Ramsey, but his response was evasive.

“There are three elements, three aspects,” Emery told reporters.

“One is the player, and also the player with their family and representatives. The other is the club, and the other is the squad.

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“My focus is always on the team – my focus is preparing with the players and only thinking about the match tomorrow. Each player has individual aspects to work, or to do, or to speak with the club or with the team.

“But my focus is the matches and preparing for the matches and to speak with the players, if they are thinking and are very concentrated on giving us the best performance and to help the collective performance.”

Asked whether he sees Ramsey as an important player at the club, Emery added: “For me, every player is very important in relation to the team.

“I consider each player an important space in the squad.”

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Emery was also asked about another midfielder, Mesut Ozil, and the question of the player’s decision not to meet with Joachim Low when the Germany coach visited Arsenal’s training ground this week.

“I respect his decision to play or not play with the national team,” Emery said of Ozil, who retired from international football after the World Cup.

“But it’s the same, like when I speak to the individual players. I want only their focus for our match and for the match tomorrow.

“I think we need the energy, the performance, the concentration to only be thinking about our matches.

“Tomorrow is our focus and I spoke with every player – also with Mesut – about the focus and the concentration to prepare for the best performance tomorrow.”

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Arsenal have won their last six matches in all competitions unlike Watford, who have not won in their last three, but Emery offered words of praise for his opposite number Javi Gracia.

“Maybe here there are not a lot of coaches knowing about Javi Gracia’s work,” said Emery. “But in Spain he’s a respected coach.

“I know him and he’s a very competitive coach. Every team he has, they are very organised and here I think he is improving also.

“I think he is doing a very good job.”

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