Premier League • England

Arsenal transfers: Journalist drops Real Madrid bombshell with Edu masterclass convincing star to pick Gunners in marquee deal

Sporting director Edu in Arsenal dressing room

Arsenal sporting director Edu sat in Arsenal dressing room

Arsenal may have announced Kai Havertz as the first of their major summer signings – but it has now been claimed that the Gunners were never the star’s first transfer choice.

The Gunners are looking to bolster their ranks after pushing Manchester City close in the 2022/23 title race. And while finishing second will come as a major disappointment to many, finishing as runners-up was far ahead of the initial target set by the Gunner board.

Now with Champions League football on offer, the club hope to ensure their spell of challenging for the top honours can continue.

As a result, the Gunners are close to shattering their transfer record for Declan Rice. The England midfielder is close to securing a move across London from West Ham in a deal that could top £105m.

However, before that deal gets official confirmation, Arsenal have boosted their attacking options by securing a deal for Havertz.

The Germany forward has moved to Arsenal from Chelsea after three years at Stamford Bridge. And with Chelsea looking to balance the books, Havertz joins the likes of Kalidou Koulibaly and N’Golo Kante in leaving the Blues.

Initially, the 24-year-old was linked with a move to Real Madrid. The Spanish giants have recently waved farewell to legendary striker Karim Benzema. As a result, Havertz was under consideration as a potential replacement.

However, Chelsea’s asking price saw Los Blancos drop their interest, leaving Arsenal as his sole suitors.

To that end, Arsenal have reportedly settled on a fee worth £65m.

READ MORE ~ Done deal: Arsenal sign Chelsea star Kai Havertz for £65m; shirt number revealed and Arteta reacts

Arsenal move ‘not Havertz’s first choice’

Nonetheless, it has now been claimed that a move to the Bernabeu was, in fact, Havertz’s first choice.

Their interest in him dates back to the player’s days at Bayer Leverkusen. And while Chelsea beat them to his signature then, it was claimed he always saw himself moving to the Spanish captial once the time came to leave Stamford Bridge.

Much like Raphinha last year, who snubbed both Arsenal and Chelsea to sign for Barcelona, there was a belief that Havertz could too have dug his heels in over a move.

However, it seems Arsenal sporting director Edu has played something of a blinder. And journalist Nizaar Kinsella suggests Havertz has once again abandoned his Real Madrid dream to instead join the Gunners.

Speaking on the Inside Arsenal podcast with Charlie Watts, Kinsella has shared what he knows about the transfer.

“He was always dreaming of Real Madrid, and I thought Madrid would come in this summer,” he said. “During the pandemic Madrid didn’t have money, so the pandemic guided him to Chelsea.

“It has taken him away from Real Madrid. They’ve been building up for a move for a long time. A move to Madrid has never materialised, but Chelsea and Arsenal have.”

Arsenal looking to get the best from Havertz

Arsenal will be getting a player of real pedigree in Havertz, though one who arguably has a point to prove after leaving Chelsea. In fairness, he will depart Stamford Bridge as a legend following his winner in the 2021 Champions League final.

But he is a player who never quite fulfiled his potential at Stamford Bridge. Indeed, he was often played out of position at the spearhead of their attack.

Mikel Arteta will now hope to unlock that true talent at Emirates Stadium. And if he does, £65m may just seem like a bargain.

READ MOREKai Havertz is a marginal gain for Arsenal when they need giant leaps forward