Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has aimed a bit of a dig back at Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who famously snubbed a trial with the Gunners earlier in his career.
Images can still be found of Ibrahimovic in an Arsenal shirt as it looked like a deal was close for him while he was still an up-and-coming youngster at Malmo, but it ended up being one of the most famous near-misses for the north London giants.
Gooners will no doubt regret that they never signed Ibrahimovic as he ended up being one of the finest forwards of his generation, going on to star for elite European clubs such as Ajax, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, plus a short spell at Manchester United later in his career.
The Swede has famously been quoted as saying Zlatan doesn’t do “auditions”, and he recently repeated similar whilst speaking on Sky Italia show I Signori del Calcio, as translated by Goal.
“I went to London for an appointment with Wenger, who asked me to audition for the Gunners. I told him ‘I will not do a trial: either you take me or not, I’m not here to waste time’,” he said.
“I already had that kind of trust, because in my mind I was the strongest of all even when I was young. I met Wenger because I expected him to tell me to start with them right away. But Ibra does not test.”
Zlatan: "I once rejected Arsenal because Wenger insisted on a trial. I couldn't believe it. I was like, No way, Zlatan doesn't do auditions" pic.twitter.com/brslWpI7xx
— Roro O'Monstro.™ (@Roromeo_MUFC10) February 28, 2017
Wenger, however, has insisted he has no regrets, and made the pointed remark that, at the time, Ibrahimovic was an unknown and that having a trial would have been a perfectly normal part of the process.
“Not really,” Wenger said when asked by BBC Sport if he has regrets over not signing Ibrahimovic. “Because he was a 17-year-old boy playing at Malmo in the second league in Sweden. And nobody knew him.
“We gave trials to many players at 17 – it was absolutely normal before you make a decision.”