Arsene Wenger: I was shocked when Zlatan Ibrahimovic snubbed Arsenal trial
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted that he was surprised when Paris Saint Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic turned down a trial with the club as a 16 year-old, telling reporters that he thought the Swede was crazy.
Ibrahimovic was offered the chance to train with the first-team at Arsenal ahead of a potential move, but turned the chance down as he “does not do auditions.” Wenger admitted that he was shocked to hear the rejection, before conceding that he does sometimes regret passing up the chance to sign the enigmatic forward, who has since played for Ajax, Juventus, Barcelona and both Milan sides.
“I said I hear you’re a good player and I invite you to at train with the first-team to see how good you are. He replied that ‘I do not do auditions,’” Wenger told reporters.
I was shocked, I thought he must be crazy.
“I was the coach of Arsenal and he was 16-year-old. I regret it sometimes, but I knew nothing about him, but I had to see him.”
Having admitted his regret, Wenger praised the striker’s record over his career, saying: “Wherever he goes, he wins championships.”
Wenger, likely to sign a new Arsenal contract this summer, was linked with a move to Monaco this week, which would have seen him come up against Ibrahimovic, but denied the rumours in the wake of Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Norwich.