Former Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham has revealed that he turned down an approach from Arsenal before moving to Roma in 2021.
The England international left Chelsea almost two seasons ago to find regular first-team football after being sent out on loans to Bristol City, Swansea City and Aston Villa.
Between 2019 and 2021 Abraham did get more football for Chelsea but it became clear that it would be significantly reduced after Thomas Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard at the helm.
And Abraham had a brilliant first season at Roma with 27 goals in 53 appearances as the Italian side won the Europa Conference League.
But the 25-year-old insists it could’ve been different with Arsenal also very interested in his services before he opted to join Jose Mourinho in Rome.
Abraham told Rete Sport: “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 José 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?’
“I laughed, we talked a little more, he told me about the project, his ambitions for the team. He had been in Rome for a short time, but he explained to me what he had seen and what it felt like.
“I spoke to my agents and they said there was no question, a perfect time to start a new life, to go abroad and experience another different culture. I was so ready and I haven’t looked back since.”
Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal have all been linked with a move for Abraham this summer as they look for new strikers but the Roma striker is just concentrating on the Serie A side for now.
Abraham added: “Right now, my focus and attention is on Roma: we want to finish the season. I haven’t even started thinking about anything other than just being here and doing my best.
“I wouldn’t say there are any loose ends in England. Maybe I’ll stay at Roma for the next ten years, or maybe not. You never know what’s around the corner.”
And Arsenal are looking to build on their brilliant season in the Premier League by adding depth and quality to their first team in the summer transfer window.
Spanish publication Sport claims that the Gunners are set to ‘mobilise’ for Athletico Paranaense youngster Vitor Roque, while Mundo Deportivo insist Arsenal are ‘pressing’ to beat Chelsea and Barcelona to the 18-year-old Brazil forward, who is valued at around €50m.
Portuguese newspaper A Bola claims that Mikel Arteta and Arsenal technical director Edu are interested in Porto winger Pepe but they have been told that they will have to pay €75m.
It is understood that one of Pepe’s ‘objectives’ is to go and play in the Premier League at some point while one club have reportedly lodged a €50m offer for the Brazilian.