Arsenal target Stephan El Shaarawy has revealed that he came close to leaving AC Milan during the January transfer window, according to reports in Italy.
Italian source Tuttosport carries the story that the 21-year-old almost joined a Russian outfit last month, having become frustrated with life at the San Siro.
“It's true, there was an offer from a Russian team, but I decided to stay at Milan because that's what I want, it is my intention to become a great champion here, with this shirt,” El Shaarawy confirmed.
Such news may be of interest to Arsenal, who had been credited with interest in the run in to the January window. It’s no secret that Arsene Wenger has been looking to add another high-profile striker to his squad in order to aid Olivier Giroud, and El Shaarawy more than fits the bill.
As of last summer's transfer window it was believed that the young Italian could be available for around £30million, and Milan did in fact reject an offer from an unnamed club of close to €30million.
But it now look as though El Shaarawy is set to remain in the Serie A for the foreseeable future, particularly given his admiration for new boss Clarence Seedorf.
According to Tuttosport he said: “Seedorf? I am very happy he is the coach of AC Milan. I had a great relationship with him when we were teammates. He has important human qualities, I'm happy to be here on the day of his arrival at Milanello.”