New Bayer Leverkusen forward Adam Hlozek's father has claimed that Arsenal attempted to hijack a deal for the promising teenager.
The 19-year-old joined the Bundesliga giants from Sparta Prague on a five-year-contract in early July after scoring eight times and providing 13 assists in 29 Czech top-flight appearances last term.
Predominantly used as a second-striker, Hlozek can play upfront as well on either wing. Leverkusen fended off plenty of competition to capture the Czech Republic international on a long-term deal.
The attacker scored 15 goals in 19 league games in the season before last, and is clinical and comfortable on either foot. After excelling at every youth level for the Czech national team, Hlozek already has 18 caps for the senior side.
In an interview with iSport.cz, Hlozek's father Zbynek revealed that received a "huge intervention" from Arsenal before they secured their move to Germany. He stated (as translated by Metro):
"There was Newcastle, they were somewhere else financially. Lyon, Sevilla, Dortmund, Bayern… however, we wanted to give the next step a little sense, so as not to jump to a mega club right away.
"When Leverkusen was almost done, we heard about a huge intervention from Arsenal. But the negotiation was already a long way down the line."
"Borussia Monchengladbach were the same, they spoke to Adam personally twice in the spring. They were excited about him but they didn’t have the financial strength."
Former Arsenal star sings praises of Czech Republic wonderkid
Despite already signing Gabriel Jesus this summer, the Gunners are keen to strengthen further in attack due to the departures of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.
Hlozek was certainly a target for Mikel Arteta's side. He had already been gifted a grand seal of approval by their former player Tomas Rosicky, who is now Sparta Prague's sporting director.
In May, Rosicky was quoted by Metro as saying:
"I don’t want to put an absolute burden on such a young boy. He’s led the attack very well for everything he had been up to lately. He is very productive, whether with goals or assists. I say he’s clearly the best player in the league, knowing it won’t do anything to him because he’s so grounded.
"I believe that he will score even more goals than now. We don’t want to lose Adam, we are willing to talk about his possible departure in the summer."