Pep Guardiola has confirmed Oleksandr Zinchenko’s impending transfer to Arsenal after revealing a few details about a farewell dinner.
Pep Guardiola rarely gives away transfer news unless the move is confirmed, a habit developed by Mikel Arteta right from his early years as Arsenal boss. The Manchester City boss has been revered for his openness about allowing unhappy players to leave, and a similar thing has happened this summer at the Etihad.
Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus have left Manchester City to Chelsea and Arsenal, respectively. Guardiola did not stop them from departing, even though he was losing two of his essential attackers in the process. He is set to lose another key player in Oleksandr Zinchenko, who is on the verge of joining Arsenal.
Arsenal agreed on a move with Manchester City for around £32 million, including bonuses, with the Ukrainian international set to join up with Mikel Arteta’s squad once he completes his medicals and paperwork. He will become the club’s fourth summer signing, excluding Matt Turner.
Zinchenko will be the second Manchester City player this summer to sign for Arsenal after Jesus made his £45 million transfer to the Emirates. The Ukrainian utility man will provide competition to Kieran Tierney at left-back and in central midfield, where he plays for his national side.
🗣 "It was nice yesterday with Alex [Zinchenko] because we could say goodbye properly."
Pep Guardiola pays tribute to Oleksandr Zinchenko after he agreed a move to Arsenal pic.twitter.com/PSpasVsOhX
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) July 20, 2022
Guardiola confirmed the departure as he spoke to the media, suggesting he said his goodbyes to Zinchenko over a farewell dinner. Daily Mirror quoted the Manchester City boss, who thanked the Ukrainian for contributing to the club and bid his goodbyes.
Guardiola said, “I’ll say on behalf of the club our gratitude on and off the pitch. It was nice yesterday with Oleks because we could say bye properly. Unfortunately, Gabi [Gabriel Jesus] and Raheem [Sterling] could not do it, but with him, we could, and he moves on to Arsenal.”
Zinchenko has played five seasons at Manchester City, winning the Premier League four times during this period. He played a pivotal role on the final day, the title-clinching game, as he came off the bench to provide an assist to Rodri for the second Manchester City goal.
Despite spending so many seasons at the club and becoming one of the trusted players under Guardiola, Zinchenko could not cement his place. In the 2020/21 season, he played 20 Premier League games, which were his most for the club in a single campaign. At Arsenal, he will hope to become a regular fixture under Arteta, a manager he knows well from their time together at Manchester City.