On Thursday, Leicester City confirmed they’ve signed Timothy Castagne from Atalanta.
Before joining the Foxes, the Belgian was linked to other clubs in England and across Europe, and Arsenal were one apparently one of those who looked at bringing the fullback to the Emirates.
Castagne is represented by Zenon Melon, but intermediaries Pini Zahavi and George Gardi helped the agent get his client to the King Power Stadium.
Gardi has spoken TuttoMercatoWeb, and revealed the Gunners maintained a serious interest in the 24-year-old. He also explained why Brendan Rodgers’ side were given preference ahead of Arsenal and other suitors.
“There were several clubs seriously interested in the player such as Arsenal and PSG, then the market combinations prevailed: Leicester, having made an important sale, were the first among the contenders to meet the demands of both Atalanta and the player… Zahavi’s approval of the operation gave reassurance to what we were doing,” he said.
Zahavi’s partner also gave an insight on how the idea to join Leicester came up after Castagne decided to look for a new challenge at the start of this year.
“At the end of the transfer market in January, despite being in the idyllic world of Atalanta, Timothy and his agent Zenon confessed to me and my partner Pini Zahavi their desire to compete in the Premier League,” Gardi explained.
“In recent months, Timothy remained focused on Atalanta, while our work, together with his agent Zenon, was geared towards understanding what could be the best solution for him. Premier League clubs have actually proved to be the most attractive.
“In the first meeting we had with Castagne and his agent, Mr. Zahavi broke the ice saying that only in two cases he had to take a plane at 6 in the morning. For him and for Neymar…”
When asked how difficult the negotiations were with Atalanta, Gardi said: “It was very complicated, the desire not to sell the player manifested itself through the delay in setting a selling price.”
Castagne, who can operate on either side of the defence, put pen to paper on a five-year deal at Leicester and will linkup with his new teammates after the ongoing international break.