In an interview with Rete Sport, Roma striker Tammy Abraham has confirmed that Arsenal were interested in signing him from Chelsea in the summer of 2021.
The England international fell out-of-favour under Blues manager Thomas Tuchel two years ago and he hardly played during the second half of the 2020/21 campaign.
As a result, he decided to leave Stamford Bridge. Arsenal were heavily fancied to sign him but the 25-year-old eventually switched to Serie A with Roma.
Speaking with Rete Sport (via Tutto AS Roma), Abraham has now revealed that his attention was drawn to joining the Gunners with his father being a huge fan of the club.
However, the dynamic changed after a phone call from Jose Mourinho. Roma agreed to sign him from the Blues with a buy-back clause – something which Arsenal were not keen on.
Abraham said: “It was time to leave Chelsea, and I was talking to different clubs in England and Europe. My attention was drawn to a certain London club.
“I didn’t have to move anywhere – I knew the area well. It was Arsenal. My father is a huge Arsenal fan so he was very enthusiastic – everything was fine.
“Then… Jose called me. I usually never answer numbers that I haven’t saved in my contacts. But he said, ‘Hi Tammy, it’s José’. And I was like, ‘Wow, what a surprise!’
“He asked me how the family was. I knew him well because he had known me as a child at Chelsea. He asked me: ‘Are you ready to leave the bad weather and come to sunny Rome?”
Abraham had an impressive debut campaign at Roma with 27 goals from 53 outings, but he has struggled this term with just seven goals in 38 appearances.
Despite this, it has been reported that the Gunners are continuing to monitor him as they target a more physical striker ahead of the 2023/24 season.
He is currently valued at £40 million by Transfermarkt but Roma could hold out for a higher fee, considering Chelsea have a buy-out clause worth £70m.
In our view, there are better strikers to pursue than Abraham such as Goncalo Ramos and Victor Osimhen, but it depends on how much the club could spend.
We won’t be surprised if the Gunners return for the ex-Chelsea man as manager Mikel Arteta could prioritise someone with Premier League experience.
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