Dinamo Moscow manager Andrey Kobelev has revealed he rejected a loan bid from Arsenal for Aleksandr Kokorin in the summer.
Kokorin, 24, was a summer target for a host of English Premier League clubs, including Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, but–as far as we know–the Gunners are the only English side that submitted a formal bid for the Russia international.
That said, Kobelev has hinted that the English Premier League side may have been successful in their pursuit of Kokorin had they attempted to sign the player on a permanent basis.
“I was among those who vetoed this deal,” Kobelev told Sovetsky Sport. “We think that a loan move to Arsenal is a wrong option for Kokorin. He deserves better. Everyone is laughing, but he has a great potential, and the best coaches in the world see it.
“The point is that if a club pays good money for you, you are given time for adaptation. If a club invests a small sum, he can be benched after a couple of games and returned to his mother club.
“For example, if (Gareth) Bale was loaned to Real Madrid he wouldn’t have become the Bale he is now, because it took him time to fit into the system. Kokorin deserves to play at a decent club, and he has to move there as a fully developed player who can deliver results.”
But despite interest from the North Londoners, Kokorin was not, and is not, “desperate” to move to the Emirates Stadium, according to the player’s agent Kirill Loginov.
“Aleksandr has chances to play (at a big club) if everything will be OK, and it doesn’t have to be Arsenal,” Loginov said.
“Dinamo refused to let him go to Arsenal, but that doesn’t mean that he was desperate to go there. I don’t remember them winning any titles, apart from the FA Cup, so… I don’t know (how attractive they are).
“There was an offer, it was reviewed and refused. The decision was absolutely right. There were some quite disrespectful parts in that offer. He has very good relations with the Dinamo coaching staff and management, and naturally was updated about everything.”
Kokorin, who has earned 34 international caps for Russia, has bagged three goals in seven appearances in all competitions for Dinamo (3-5-3) this season.
Nonetheless, the question remains, will Kokorin stay at the Arena Khimki next year, or will he seek pastures new? Only time will tell.