Wenger rejected apparent striker target in 2006 because of Bendtner

Nikola Zigic

Arsenal are being linked with a shocking move for former Birmingham City striker Nikola Zigic.

p>If it had not already then it appears as though transfer rumour silly season got into full swing today when it emerged that Arsenal were ready to replace their crocked striker Olivier Giroud with Nikola Zigic.

That is in fact the Zigic you are thinking about. The 33-year-old, 6ft 8 inches tall Serbian who managed just seven goals in the Championship last season is apparently a short term option. Zigic's agent Milan Calasan has even confirmed the approach:

“It is true. Wenger called me on Tuesday afternoon and told me that he wants to bring Zigic to Arsenal. It is clear that you cannot reject an offer like that. But Zigic is the one who must decide. He must say what he wants. But Wenger was clear, he is offering a contract until the end of the season with the option for another 12 months. I know that Arsenal are in a hurry, but Nikola also has offers from Turkey and Switzerland.”

But this is not the first time Arsenal have been linked with Zigic. Back in 2006 he was hot property, the biggest club's in Europe were chasing this lad who had scored a bucket load of goals in his homeland.

In the end it was Spanish side Racing Santander who snapped him up, as when others watched him they were less than impressed. Indeed Harry Redknapp, Portsmouth manager at the time, said of him:

"He was the tallest bloke on the pitch by a yard, but never won a single header all night. They were asking £5 million for him. Afterwards, his agent came up to me and said 'I don't think at £5 million teams will buy him'. I replied 'I know, I'm one of them'."

And Arsenal were also in the running back then, Arsene Wenger even admitting he had taken a look at him. However, as this archived article from 2006 reveals Wenger ruled out a move for Zigic. And here is why:

"No. I admit we have seen him, but we already have a young Zigic in our youth team. Bendtner."

Wenger did not sign him because of promising 18-year-old Dane Nicklas Bendtner - interesting how that worked out.

It is however unlikely this deal will happen. Last summer we had a similar story with Romanian free agent Ciprian Marica, the likelihood being his agent is trying to gain interest in his client.

But if he does sign on for Arsenal, some fans will be wondering why they bothered releasing Bendtner this summer.

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