Transfer news

Ibra: I turned down Arsenal trial

March 4, 2012
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Zlatan Ibrahimovic says he turned down the chance to move to Arsenal when he was a teenager because boss Arsene Wenger wanted him to go through a trial.

Zlatan's 13-minute hat-trick v Palermo

Ibrahimovic, 30, met up with Wenger in 2000 to discuss a possible move to north London, but was not impressed when asked to prove himself.

The AC Milan striker told The Sun: ''Arsene gave me the famous red and white jersey - the No. 9 shirt with Ibrahimovic on it and I was so pleased I even posed for a picture wearing it.

''It was a fantastic moment for me. Arsenal had a great team then and here was an Arsenal shirt made just for me. So then I waited for him to convince me that I should join Arsenal. But he didn't even try.

''He never actually made me a serious offer, it was more, 'I want to see how good you are, what kind of player you are. Have a trial'. I couldn't believe it. I was like, 'No way, Zlatan doesn't do auditions'. I thought 'You either know me or you don't and if you don't know me you can't really want me'.''

The Sweden striker instead chose to join Ajax, where he began a run of eight consecutive league crowns, a streak that took in spells at Juventus - where two titles were later revoked because of the Calciopoli scandal - Inter, Barcelona and now Milan.

He also starred as Milan took a 4-0 lead in their Champions League tie against the Gunners last month, and scored a hat-trick last night against Palermo.

''I definitely made the right choice,'' he added.