Schalke defender Hamza Mendyl has admitted he expected to make a move to the Premier League this summer.
The 20-year-old eventually moved from Lille to the Bundesliga side, but that was after strong links with a move to Arsenal.
Sead Kolasinac being ruled out for two months and Nacho Monreal’s knee issue left Unai Emery with a full-back crisis prior to the season starting.
The Gunners were also tipped to move for AC Milan star Ricardo Rodriguez to fix their defensive issues.
However, Mendyl has now lifted the lid on reported interest from England, admitting that both Arsenal and Newcastle were in for him.
He told German publication Kicker: “I’ve been in talks with Arsenal FC and Newcastle, but being a Moroccan citizen it’s not so easy to get a work permit there.
“I would have thought I’d play in England.”
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