Wenger admits Lukaku interest; snubs Zlatan link

Date published: Friday 18th March 2016 9:40

Romelu Lukaku: Opens up on contract rejection

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has admitted he was monitoring Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku before the striker moved to Chelsea in 2011.

Wenger was asked about the in-form Everton frontman at his Friday press conference and the Frenchman claimed he was interested in the 25-goal frontman, but he opted to sign for Andre Villas-Boas at Stamford Bridge.

Asked whether he looked at the 22-year-old Lukaku, Wenger replied: “Yes, we knew him in Belgium but at the time he opted to go to Chelsea. He is developing well.”

The Gunners boss also poured cold water on press reports linking the club with Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

The 34-year-old Paris Saint-Germain striker is reported to be interested in a move to England at the end of the season – having just won his fourth straight Ligue 1 title.

Ibrahimovic, who struck a nine-minute hat-trick in PSG’s championship-clinching 9-0 win over Troyes last weekend, has never played in the Barclays Premier League despite somewhat of a nomadic career.

Speculation in recent days has linked the Sweden international with a move to the Emirates Stadium – with Arsenal expected to go into the transfer market for a new striker, with recent profligacy in front of goal one of the main reasons for their current slump.

But Wenger, speaking ahead of a vital trip to Everton as the Gunners look to close an 11-point gap on league-leaders Leicester, has said the club are not worried about summer acquisitions at the moment.

“Look, at the moment, no,” Wenger said when asked if there was interest in Ibrahimovic.

“We are not on that case. We have other worries at the moment. It’s short-term. We are not on Zlatan’s case. Even at 34, he’s had a great season at PSG.

“At the moment you can understand my priority ahead of Everton is not the transfer market on signings next season.

“I’m just surprised by the name you’ve thrown at me. We’re not thinking of signing anybody at the moment.”

Ibrahimovic, who also scored as PSG knocked Chelsea out of the Champions League for the second season in succession, has played down links with England when asked this season, but appears set to leave the French capital at the end of the season.

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