The Mail on Sunday’s Rob Draper believes Arsenal withdrew their contract offer to Aaron Ramsey because they need to cut their wage bill.

After two seasons without Champions League football, the club is starting to feel the pinch.

Mail on Sunday 30 September 2018

With Mesut Ozil on £350,000 and the wage structure out the window, Arsenal have reportedly had second thoughts over allowing Ramsey to sign the £200kpw offer that was on the table and have withdrawn it accordingly.

That would make sense.

While most of us love Ramsey to pieces, we have to be honest and say that he hasn’t really done enough to earn an 80% pay increase which is what £200kpw would represent.

He might look at the new boys who arrived on salaries around the £200k-mark, which is what he is said to want and what the club were initially prepared to offer, but Aubameyang scores for fun while Mkhitaryan’s wage is offset by losing Alexis Sanchez. He also has three assists and a goal this season. Ramsey has two assists.

Arsenal v Vorskla Poltava - UEFA Europa League - Group E
LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 20: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal celebrates after scoring his team’s third goal with Henrikh Mkhitaryan of Arsenal during the UEFA Europa League Group E match between Arsenal and Vorskla Poltava at Emirates Stadium on September 20, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Henry Browne/Getty Images)

Ramsey was, understandably, frustrated when he was subbed against Watford on Saturday but it’s hard to deny that Arsenal looked more fluid when he was removed.

Unai Emery has given him a chance in his preferred position but he has seemed unable to grasp it. As I wrote recently, it certainly does seem to be time to say goodbye and that is not necessarily a bad thing.

After the game, Emery was as diplomatic as ever when asked about the Welshman. “I want competitive spirit,” the Spaniard said when asked about Ramsey’s reaction to being subbed. “When the players want to play every moment to help the team, I want this character.”

But probably only until the end of his current deal.

Read more: Why it’s time to let Aaron Ramsey go