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FCSB’s sporting director insists that the club is yet to receive an approach from Premier League giants Arsenal for Romania U21 international Ianis Stoica, speaking to Telekom Sport. 

Scouting a player is one thing. Bidding for him is another thing altogether. 

And while Arsenal appear to have ticked the first of those two options off their to-do list, FCSB president Gigi Becali admitting on Tuesday that they have ‘monitored’ 18-year-old Stoica, it seems the Gunners are yet to turn their interest into anything more concrete. 

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At least, that is according to Mihai Stoica – the club’s sporting director and, coincidentally enough, Ianis’ namesake. 

“In order for Arsenal to be interested, Arsenal must send an email, a fax, something! We have nothing, no interest whatsoever,” Mihai Stoica insists. 

Will Romania starlet Ianis Stoica join Arsenal?

Of course, that could soon change. 

Every one of Arsenal’s six summer signings – Nuno Tavares, Ben White, Aaron Ramsdale, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Martin Odegaard – were all 23 and under when they arrived at the Emirates. 

Arsenal appear to be prioritising young, up-and-coming talent these days, having been burned once too often by an expensive, 30-something veteran – see Willian, David Luiz, Stephan Lichtsteiner. 

Bucharest-born Stoica looks every inch a forward in the Arsenal mould too. The fact that he compares himself to none other than Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe should tell you all you need to know about the free-scoring teen. 

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He is, as you might have guessed, rather speedy. Very speedy in fact. He’s got an eye for goal too, scoring six times in just 14 games since breaking into FCSB’s first-team. 

“We signed six players who are under 23,” Arsenal’s technical director Edu Gaspar told Sky Sports in September, offering an insight into why Stoica may be on their radar.

“If you remember, we renewed (the contracts of) Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli a year ago with the intention to get that kind of base in the team. In a one-year period, we signed 10 players and seven of the 10 are under 23.  

“We renewed seven players in this period as well, just in the first team. Five of the seven are under 23 as well. 

“Why did we do that? Because we have a reason to try again to create a good foundation.” 

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