Arsenal sent scouts to watch Cengiz Under back in December, but Nicolo Zaniolo ended up catching their eye instead, according to reports in Italy.
According to Il Messaggero (via Sport Witness), Arsenal scouted Under back in early December but seemingly went home with his teammate Zaniolo in mind for a potential transfer. The report suggested Arsenal would have found it ‘difficult’ not to have been impressed with the midfielder.
Nicolo Schira of La Gazzetta dello Sport then wrote this week that Arsenal are showing an interest in the 19-year-old midfielder, though not in the January window. The Gunners’ financial restrictions this winter are well documented, so it’s no surprise that they’re putting the deal off until the summer.
However, Schira reports that Arsenal representatives have already made contact with Zaniolo’s agent, including Unai Emery and Raul Sanllehi. According to the article in La Gazzetta, Arsenal asked for a ‘detailed report’ from their scouts on the player. Roma, for their part, are trying to renew the teenager’s contract until 2024.
Zaniolo only joined the Serie A club in July, and his current deal runs until 2023, so there’s no real pressure on the player or his club to make a decision quickly.
After failing to make any league starts between August and October, Zaniolo then made seven in November and December. He scored his first goal for Roma right at the end of 2018, an impressively composed chip. We’ll see if Arsenal really are interested in bringing his talents to the Emirates Stadium in a few months’ time.