Ibra: I turned down Arsenal audition

PA Sport
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (left)

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic (left)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic turned down the chance to move to Arsenal because boss Arsene Wenger wanted the Sweden striker to go through a trial.

The AC Milan player was a teenager when he met up with Wenger in 2000 to discuss a possible move to north London.

Ibrahimovic, 30, told The Sun: "Arsene gave me the famous red and white jersey - the number nine shirt with Ibrahimovic on it and I was so pleased I even posed for a picture wearing it."

He added: "It was a fantastic moment for me. Arsenal had a great team then and here was an Arsenal shirt made just for me.

"So then I waited for him to convince me that I should join Arsenal. But he didn't even try.

"He never actually made me a serious offer, it was more, 'I want to see how good you are, what kind of player you are. Have a trial'.

"I couldn't believe it. I was like, 'No way, Zlatan doesn't do auditions'. I thought 'You either know me or you don't and if you don't know me you can't really want me'."

Ibrahimovic instead chose to join Ajax, where he began a run of eight consecutive league crowns, a streak that took in spells at Juventus - where two titles were later revoked because of the Calciopoli scandal - Inter, Barcelona and now Milan.

He also starred as Milan took a 4-0 lead in their Champions League tie against the Gunners last month, and scored a hat-trick last night against Palermo. He added: "I definitely made the right choice."

Arsenal host Milan for the second leg of their last-16 tie on Tuesday.

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