Arsene Wenger was desperate to sign Oleksandr Zinchenko before he joined Manchester City, the teenager’s agent has claimed.
The youngster’s agent Sandor Varga reveals that the Gunners’ manager has been keen on the player since the Ukranian’s time at his former club Shakhtar Donetsk. Wenger has been determined in his attempts to bring the Ukrainian midfielder but was consistently disappointed in his pursuit and later the youngster joined their Premier League rival Manchester City.
Zinchenko can play on either wing or in the No.10 position and widely regarded as Ukraine’s most promising talent in recent years.
Varga claims the Arsenal boss’ interest arises back from the youngster’s time at the Ukrainian club and prior to the Euros Wenger attempted to lure the 19-year-old to The Emirates Stadium.
The youngster was a part of Ukraine’s squad for Euro 2016 and appeared as a substitute in Ukraine’s first two matches against Germany and Northern Ireland.
“Wenger called and said: ‘I have need for that player. He’s going to play in the first team. I know he is only seventeen, but I’m going to write a letter to his family that I will take care of him when he is with us and he’ll play in the first team,” Varga told Russian outlet Championat.
“Arsene had seen a youth game of Shakhtar and took 20 minutes to assess the potential of Oleksandr.”
The agent claims Wenger remained in his hunt for Zinchenko, who is currently on loan at PSV, despite receiving no positive response.
“Wenger asked me ten times about Zinchenko and I later informed him and felt even a bit sad because I couldn’t help him,” said the agent.
Zinchenko became Ukraine’s youngest goalscorer, replacing Ukrainian legend Andriy Shevchenko’s after scoring his first international goal in a friendly against Romania in May. He is also Ukraine’s third-youngest player in their history. At 19 years of age, Zinchenko is still learning his trade and hopefully, a bright future is ahead of him.