Christian Heidel, sporting director of Bundesliga club Schalke 04, has this evening revealed that Hamza Mendyl was close to joining Premier League giants Arsenal this summer.
Mendyl: Schalke vs Arsenal
Mendyl, a 20-year-old Moroccon left-back, made the move to Schalke from Ligue 1 outfit Lille last week, penning a 5-year-deal at the Arena AufSchalke.
— FC Schalke 04 (@s04) August 17, 2018
The gifted stopper, who came up through the youth ranks of Lille, only broke into the first-team setup of the Great Danes in February of last year, since going on to make 13 Ligue 1 appearances, 9 of which came as starts last season.
However, despite his limited time on the pitch in France, Mendyl’s showings caught the eye of a number of clubs around Europe, with reports having claimed that Arsenal were actually on the verge of signing the 13-time capped international before his move to Schalke.
Some outlets even went as far as to suggest that Mendyl had already travelled to London to negotiations the terms of his move to the Emirates.
‘Would have gone to Arsenal’
And, as per the aforementioned update from Schake sporting director Christian Heidel, such claims look to have been accurate.
Speaking to reporters earlier today, Heidel was questioned on the rumours of Mendyl’s proposed move to Arsenal having fallen through due to work permit issues, with the Miners’ chief having confirmed:
‘I think otherwise (if not for permit problems) he would have gone to Arsenal.’