Bradford City's £1.3 million record signing Isaiah Rankin has today revealed he turned down an appeal from Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger to stay in London before moving to Valley Parade.

The 20-year-old Gunners starlet has signed a five-year deal with the Bantams despite playing just four minutes for the Premiership outfit.

As revealed in yesterday's Telegraph & Argus, the fee smashes the existing club record £1 million price paid to Port Vale for Lee Mills just seven days ago.

Rankin said: "Mr Wenger said Bradford were interested in me and had made a bid. He then said 'It is up to you whether you go but we would like you to stay'. But I had made my mind up."

The London-born striker is determined to utilise all he learned in his time at Highbury alongside some of the biggest names in world football.

"I picked up a lot of things while at Arsenal. The forwards at the club had two sessions per week together where we would work on everything from movement to finishing.

"You cannot fail to learn training alongside players like Dennis Bergkamp and Ian Wright."

Rankin learned of City's interest on Tuesday and travelled up to meet manager Paul Jewell the following day.

The pair watched City reserves thrash Notts County 10-2 before the player returned to London to discuss the move with his family.

He then contacted the Bantams late yesterday to agree to the move before travelling to Bradford to complete a medical at 7pm.

Rankin trained with his new team-mates for the first time today and could form City's first £2 million plus strikeforce with Lee Mills at Watford tomorrow if the former Port Vale striker recovers from an ankle injury.

The striker was on the bench as a 16-year-old when City played Arsenal at Valley Parade in an FA Youth Cup semi-final four years ago but failed to come on in a 1-0 victory for the Gunners.

He said: "The stadium has been improved since then and everyone appears to be very ambitious."

Rankin spent a time on loan with Colchester in the first half of last season and scored five goals in 11 games. He also enjoyed an impressive record of 20 goals in 32 appearances with the Arsenal reserve side and grabbed 47 goals in 64 games with the youth team.

He said: "I played for Arsenal against Tottenham when I went on as a late substitute for Dennis Bergkamp.

"The manager just said to me 'This is your time and you could end up making a name for yourself'. Unfortunately it was not to be but I did enjoy it.

"I am 20 and at this stage of my career I need to be playing first team football."

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