Club Chief confirm shock Arsenal move for Russian star – January deal incoming?

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FC Ufa general manager Shamil Gazizov says he isn’t surprised by Arsenal’s interest in young defender Igor Diveev, but thinks it’s too early for the Russia u20 international to leave.

According to a report last month, Arsenal sent the Russian side a request to bring the young 6ft 3 defender to North London on a temporary basis. The Gunners reportedly spotted Diveev during the Russian u20s’ run to the final of the COTIF-2018.

Gazizov seemingly confirmed the interest in an interview this week, but suggested Diveev shouldn’t leave until he’s developed a bit further.

“I am not surprised that European clubs are interested in him, including Arsenal,” Gazizov said.

“Diveev is a young footballer who is still developing. He has certain qualities that need to be developed further. It is too early for him to think about Arsenal or another club.

“It is his goal to get a foothold at Ufa, only to leave after that. We see that he is ready to join us at our level.”

Diveev has kept his place in the Russia u20 side over the current international break, playing 90 minutes in both of their matches. He’s only just starting to get a taste of first team football for his club though, with two brief appearances before joining up with his national side.

It’s all moving very fast for the player himself, who hadn’t even made his debut for Ufa’s second team until July. Now he’s on the verge of breaking into the first team regularly, with Arsenal seemingly circling.

We’ll have to wait until the January transfer window to see any progress on this one. At least that gives the Arsenal scouts some more time to assess Diveev in senior matches in the meantime.