AC Milan completed the signing of Emil Roback from Hammarby IF on August 14th.
Arsenal had long maintained an interest in the 17-year-old and the Swedish club’s sporting director, Jesper Jansson, revealed in March the young striker met with the Gunners before the lockdown.
Apart from the north London club, Bayern Munich were also keen on acquiring his services, before he decided to join the Serie A side.
Expressen interviewed the teenager, and he explained what convinced him to turn down Arsenal and the Bavarian club in favour of Milan.
“They had been watching me since before and had seen me in some international matches with Sweden’s youth team,” he said.
“I think it was a year ago. I already told my agent that I didn’t want to go to Milan. At the time, I knew that Arsenal and also Bayern Munich were interested and, above all, Arsenal had contacted me and wanted to invest in me.”
Roback, who made one senior appearance for Hammarby, stressed he was determined to join the Premier League club before he changed his decision to Milan.
“Then things went better and better for me and I did well at Hammarby. Milan continued to keep track and they even got in touch a couple of times. But I kept saying I wasn’t going to Milan because I was still committed to England and Arsenal then,” the teenager explained.
“I got sick and stayed at the hotel the first day. The second day I came there [Arsenal] and did physical tests with running and conditioning. It felt good and I got surprisingly good results despite the illness. I did it well and it also felt good with the club.”
According to Expressen, the Emirates club made early contact with the Swedish side for Roback.
Both Arsenal and Milan had agreed a transfer fee of SEK 15m (€1.5m) plus bonuses with Hammarby, but in the end, the Rossoneri were successful in taking the Sweden U17 international.
Roback featured in Milan’s 4-2 friendly win over Novara earlier this week.