Arsenal's Rob Holding says he had no idea about Everton's interest

General view inside the stadium before the match - Goodison Park

The defender joined Arsenal from Bolton Wanderers in July but was linked with several clubs including Everton.

Arsenal defender Rob Holding has told the club's official website he was unaware of interest from any team besides the Gunners.

Holding moved to the Emirates Stadium from Bolton Wanderers in the summer, despite reports at the time linking him with Premier League rivals Everton, Chelsea and Bournemouth.

The giant centre-back, however, insists that Arsenal was the move he wanted to push forward, not least having spoken to fellow Gunners defender Calum Chambers while on international duty.

Arsenal's Calum Chambers celebrates scoring their third goalArsenal's Calum Chambers is currently on loan at Middlesbrough

"I’d seen everything - it was all paper talk," said Holding when asked about the speculation. "There were people with things on Twitter saying, 'He’s linked here, he’s linked there,' but I think the concrete one that I knew, that my agent told me, was that Arsenal were interested. I was like, 'Wow, Arsenal are interested in me,' so that was one that I wanted to push forward.

"Then when I went away with England in the summer to Toulon, I spoke to Calum Chambers and he said Arsenal is a great club - 'If it happens for you, it would be great to have you there.'

Arsenal's Rob HoldingArsenal's Rob Holding

"[The speculation] was a bit surreal. At the time I was just looking round and seeing my name all over Twitter and places and I’d wake up in the morning and one of my mates had sent me a screen of the newspaper that had linked me with Everton, and I had no idea. They were asking me, 'What’s happening, what’s happening?!' and I was like, 'I don’t know, it’s crazy, we’ll just see what happens.'"

Everton lost England centre-back John Stones to Manchester City in a club-record deal last summer, so their alleged interest in Holding was no real surprise. 

The Toffees eventually added Swansea City captain Ashley Williams as Stones' replacement, although it was claimed by owner Farhad Moshiri earlier this month that his side also enquired about Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly, only to be quoted £60 million.

Juventus' Sami Khedira in action against Napoli's Kalidou KoulibalyNapoli's Kalidou Koulibaly (right) in action

Holding has made five appearances for Arsene Wenger's side to date - all of which were as a starter.

The 21-year-old, who has four caps for England's Under-21s, made his Bolton breakthrough at the start of last season and impressed despite the Trotters' relegation to League One.

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