Serie A hot-shot close to Emirates Stadium switch.
AC Milan striker M’Baye Niang has revealed how he came close to signing for Arsenal back in 2012, and that he wanted to join the Gunners instead of his current club, the Sun reports.
The young Frenchman has long been considered one of the most exciting prospects coming out of France, though his career has stalled somewhat at the San Siro due to a lack of opportunities.
Things could have gone quite differently for Niang, who now says he held talks with Arsene Wenger over completing a move to the Emirates Stadium, only for Arsenal to fail to agree a fee with his former club Caen at the time.
Milan then moved ahead of the north Londoners in the race for his signature, and although the player himself says his priority was a move to the Premier League, he is fairly happy with how things have worked out.
“I spoke with Arsene Wenger in his office. We spoke for hours,” the 19-year-old explained.
“He wanted me, asked if I was ready to come and I said ‘Yes’. Then after that, it’s between the two clubs.
“They didn’t come to an understanding and told me that Adriano Galliani had reached an understanding with Caen.
“Then I spoke with manager Massimiliano Allegri and when I felt he wanted me, things happened very quickly.
“I don’t regret going, because I’ve played in some big games and it’s helped me to gain experience, even though my priority was England.
“In the beginning, I didn’t want to go to Italy. I was aiming for Arsenal. But when we got to the end of the transfer window, something happened.”