Arda Turan has conceded that he would have moved to Arsenal had he not convinced Barcelona to sign him last year.
The 29-year-old joined the Catalan giants last summer from Atletico Madrid, although due to the club’s transfer ban, he was unable to make his debut for them until January.
However, it could have been a very different story for the Turkish international, as he has revealed that a move to England with the Gunners was a genuine possibility last year.
“I felt that I would sign for Barca,” he is quoted as saying by The Independent as telling Diari Ara. “Honestly, I thought: ‘If I play very well I’ll end up signing for Barca, because my style fits this team. If I play well, finish at Arsenal’.
“For my style, with ball, playing easy, short, aggressive when needed, but especially good, I knew I could get here in Barcelona.”
Whether or not Arsenal fans can take this as a compliment is up for debate, but ultimately they missed out on Turan who is now in the midst of helping Barcelona in their pursuit of another treble this season.
Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger has seen his Premier League title push stall and having been eliminated from all cup competitions now faces the very real threat of ending the campaign without a trophy.
That in turn will naturally ensure that he faces further scrutiny this summer, and he will be under pressure to strengthen his squad this summer with big names such as Turan in order to prove his, and the club’s, ambition moving forward.
In that sense, Turan will be delighted with how the situation played out, with Turkey coach Fatih Terim also likely to be hoping that his work at the Nou Camp will be of benefit to the national side at Euro 2016 this summer.