The Gunners’ boss called up the representative after seeing the winger play in a UEFA Youth League game and was intent on bringing the Ukrainian to the Emirates Stadium
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was “desperate” to sign Oleksandr Zinchenko prior to his move to Manchester City, according to the player’s agent Sandor Varga.
Zinchenko, who featured in all three of Ukraine’s group games at Euro 2016, joined City from Russian Premier League side FC Ufa on a five-year deal this summer.
And according to Varga, Wenger spotted the player two years ago and was keen to land him.
“Two years ago, Arsene Wenger phoned me,” Varga told Russian newspaper Sovetskiy Sport.
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“Zinchenko was 17 then and Shakhtar played Arsenal in the UEFA Youth League. Arsene watched the match and immediately called me, saying: ‘I need Zinchenko’.
“[Arsenal] made an offer but there were some problems and then Zinchenko was discovered by a lot of people.”
After Wenger’s interest, Zinchenko then left Shakhtar Donetsk for Ufa where he established himself as an important player in Russia, attracting the attention of Pep Guardiola and Man City.