Arsenal have approached Celtic about the signing of Kenya midfielder Victor Wanyama, the player’s former coach has told the Daily Mail.
Wanyama, 21, impressed with Celtic as they reached the knockout stages of the Champions League this season, and Jean-Marie Abeels, who brought the player through the ranks at the JMJ Youth Academy in Nairobi, said Arsene Wenger had already been in contact over a transfer.
He revealed that Wanyama - who pledged his future to Celtic in April - would relish the chance to move to the Emirates, but warned it may be too big a step at this stage of his career.
“Victor’s father, Noah, calls me almost every week and he tells me Arsenal’s interest is big,” he said. “Wenger spoke to Celtic around a month ago and Victor’s father and his mother, Mildred, says he would prefer to go there before any other club.
“I will be speaking to his parents again in a week, and Victor also. But I already know that Arsenal have a big interest in the player.
“Everything can change in a minute. It takes just one phone call. It’s all a bit of a show at the moment. It’s all a game. It’s all about money. But Victor wants to go to a club where he will play.
“He is still young, and I have told him he needs to be careful about when he takes the really big step. I think myself that it’s better that he has a step in between before going to the really big level.”
Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey was quoted in Kenya’s Daily Nation newspaper as saying he “would be the first to welcome” Wanyama if he secured a move.
“I have watched him play for Celtic,” Ramsey added. “I watched him score against Barcelona, and I think he is a great player. Whether he will join us is for other people to decide.
“His name has been all over the British press. He is one player I have read that many clubs in England are chasing, and I have no doubt he has great talent if top clubs in England are interested in him.”