Tony Adams has revealed Arsenal had a “deal done” to sign Jude Bellingham, only to see his transfer fall through the cracks of major overhauls at the club.
The 17-year-old left boyhood club Birmingham City earlier this year, signing for Borussia Dortmund for around £22.5million.
Bellingham has earned his maiden call-up to the England senior team this week, after htting the ground running with the German side.
But Dortmund weren’t the only club vying for his signature, with suggestions that Manchester United had given him a tour of their Carrington training ground, in an attempt to woo him.
However, even before that, Arsenal legend Adams has revealed that Gunners scouts were “bowled over” by the talented midfielder.
He told Sky Sports: “I think it got lost in transition this one – with the chief scout at Arsenal, going out – he was spotted very early on, not by me, but by the Arsenal recruitment office.
“The chief scout was absolutely bowled over by him and the great prospect that he is. “
Unfortunately for Arsenal fans, the transition between transfer guru Sven Mislintat leaving and Edu being handed the technical director role, the deal didn’t materialise.
“New sporting director Edu came in from Brazil and had no European or UK experience and it got lost in the transition unfortunately,” Adams explained.
“The chief scout had the deal done, but we missed that one.
“He’s a great talent, but unfortunately, he’s not joined the right club.”
Mislintat left Arsenal at the end of the 2018/19 season, as they looked to make changes to their recruitment operations.
Edu would be named in July of 2019, but Mislintat, who has since joined VfB Stuttgart, did claim he was initially offered his position.
"Last summer there were leadership changes at Arsenal. It had actually been agreed that I would become technical director, so then I would be around the team on a daily basis.” he said.
"But the new leadership had their own agenda and other candidates. On top of that, we had different approaches."
Mikel Arteta did manage to add to his midfield options in the recent window, as he landed long-time target Thomas Partey from Atletico Madrid on deadline day.
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