Transfer Talk: Turin turmoil leaves Ramsey in limbo
Aaron Ramsey joined Juventus' pre-season preparations in limbo over his future.
The Welsh midfielder spent the second half of last term on loan at Rangers but his time in Scotland was not a successful one.
Now he has returned to Turin to find himself without a squad number and surplus to requirements.
With pre-season well under way, we assess the 31-year-old's options this summer.
Ramsey's January arrival at Ibrox was viewed as a real coup — but it did not prove to be the case.
He was plagued by niggling injuries, managing just 13 appearances in all competitions.
Furthermore, he was the only player to miss from the spot in Rangers' Europa League final penalty shootout defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt.
It was not the loan spell that either party had hoped for, with Ramsey failing to win many admirers during his time in Scotland.
World Cup worries
With a World Cup to come this winter, Ramsey's focus will be on ensuring he enters the tournament in good form and at full fitness.
Remaining at Juventus, where he played less than 100 Serie A minutes in the first half of 2021-22, is unlikely to help him achieve that goal.
The Qatar showpiece may make it more likely that Ramsey agrees to a reduced wage when fielding offers over the coming weeks — prioritising playing time over potential earnings.
A move back to the Premier League is thought to be the player's preference. But the 75-cap international could be forced to look at alternatives after a challenging season, with no offers as yet forthcoming from English top-flight clubs.
Ramsey came close to joining Turkish club Fatih Karagumruk in June, where he would have reunited with former Juventus boss Andrea Pirlo.
But the move collapsed at the last minute, according to the club's president Suleyman Hurma.
He said: "We practically reached the stage of agreement with Ramsey but then we gave up."
It is unclear what caused the breakdown in negotiations but Ramsey does not seem keen to move to Turkey — reportedly rejecting an offer from Galatasaray as well.
There has also been talk of an emotional return to Cardiff for boyhood Bluebird Ramsey.
The Welsh outfit sold their young prodigy to Arsenal in 2008 — and will surely harbour hopes of reuniting with him once again.
But with Cardiff currently in the Championship, Ramsey would have to accept a significant wage reduction and be persuaded to spend a season away from top-tier football.
Similar rumours swirled around Gareth Bale but ultimately came to nothing, so it would be a surprise if this transfer came to fruition.
It may be that Ramsey chooses to follow the same path as his international captain Bale.
The 32-year-old also endured a difficult 2021-22 campaign and left Real Madrid as a free agent — but found a good fit with MLS side Los Angeles FC.
That move allowed Bale to join a reputable club who can afford to pay him well, while playing first-team football at a relatively high standard.
A similar deal could suit Ramsey too, though the midfield maestro may not feel ready to leave the allure of European football behind just yet.