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Arsenal’s FA Cup hero targeted by Bayern Munich and Barcelona

| 19.05.2014

After bagging three goals in his last four Arsenal appearances of the season, including the injury-time winner in their 3-2 FA Cup final win over Hull, Aaron Ramsey’s return to the back pages looks likely to last all summer, with Bayern Munich and Barcelona both credited with an interest in the midfielder.

Ramsey started the season like a man possessed, notching in eight of his first nine Gunners games and finished the campaign with 16 for the north Londoners – by far his best tally to date despite making just 35 appearances in all competitions.

Arsene Wenger’s men topped the Premier League for much of the opening half of 2013/14 and while they were far from favourites to lift the title when Ramsey limped off with a thigh injury at West Ham on Boxing Day, the Welshman’s three-month loss was felt more keenly than most.

Wenger will need injury-disrupted quartet Ramsey, Mesut Ozil, Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere in fine fettle at the start of August if they are to successfully challenge for the Premier League title in 2014/15 at 9/1, having not topped the pile come mid-May in a decade.

However, they may have to do so without the former Cardiff youth if FC Bayern coach Pep Guardiola gets his supposed way, as the much-loved Spaniard – who reportedly tried to sign Ramsey when Barcelona manager – is thought to be mulling over an attempt to lure him from the Emirates.

The Bundesliga behemoths could use some fresh legs in attacking-midfield, after 30-somethings Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben were found wanting in their 4-0 Champions League semi-final second-leg battering at the hands of Real Madrid.

Meanwhile, the currently managerless Catalan’s allegedly scouted Ramsey six times during the campaign, with Barca thought to be contemplating life after midfield legends Xavi and Andres Iniesta, 34 and 30-years-old respectively.

At 23, Bayern or Barca would be getting an experienced performer with a decade of football ahead in Ramsey, although the Caerphilly native’s loyalty to Arsenal – who nursed him through a dreadful leg-break in 2010 – could prove a barrier to any move.

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Alex Fortune