Arsenal are reportedly interested in signing Jean-Philippe Gbamin from Mainz with the player saying he feels ready for the ‘next step’ in his career.
This is not the first time Arsenal have been linked with a move for Gbamin. He was one of a host of players rumoured to be interesting the club last summer.
RMC reported then that Unai Emery has ‘closely followed’ the player after a strong season with his current club.
Gbamin can play several positions, in defence or midfield, and is reportedly ‘very attracted’ to England. At the time, it was claimed that Mainz wouldn’t let him leave for less than €30m (£26.4m) though and RMC said Arsenal will need to be persuasive to land their man.
That figure seems like it could be a little low. An unnamed Premier League side tabled a £31m offer which was rejected according to Goal.
Updating the rumour, Gbamin spoke to Goal and Spox this week, saying, “I basically feel ready for the next step and can well imagine starting a new chapter.
“Through my achievements, I have made clubs aware of me, where I see a good chance to go to this next stage in my sporting and personal development.
“At the moment I give 100 percent for Mainz and I am very satisfied with how much we have improved. What will happen after the season, we have to wait and see.
“I have taken the development that I had hoped for myself.
“The first season was a year of apprenticeship in a league unknown to me. In the second year, I’ve been able to implement what I’ve learned a lot better and show what I really can do.
“That’s why I went to Germany. But I can promise that this is not the end. I am convinced of my abilities and I am getting even better!
“Of course, the stance of the club initially frustrated me. Anything else would not be normal, I would say.
“I assumed that a transfer was possible. That’s why I made that public. It ultimately turned out differently.
“That was not a problem for me, because something like that happens in football. As soon as I realised that the door was closed, life went on.
“Afterwards I trained as usual and I think I can say that my performances did not suffer. Mentally, that did not stop me at all.”
There’s a sense that the Ivorian is still a bit raw, however, making Mainz’s price tag less than appealing.
He loves to carry the ball and take people on but gives it away a lot as a result.
He has five caps for the Ivory Coast after representing France through to u21 level.