Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann has revealed he "put aside all other offers" to one side in order to complete a move to Arsenal in 2013, only for the deal to collapse after the Gunners decided against signing the forward.
The France international was then at Real Sociedad, a year before joining Diego Simeone's side. The north London club's manager Arsene Wenger was interested in his compatriot. Arsenal scout Gilles Grimandi approached Eric Olhats, who was the player's mentor and also represented him until this September.
Griezmann reveals in his new book titled "Behind the Smile" that he was made to wait by Wenger's side, only to be informed they will not make an approach for him a "few hours" before the transfer window closed in 2013.
"I waited, I waited, and I kept waiting ... when there was no news, Eric called Grimandi, who said that the manager was still interested in me [and] to keep waiting," Griezmann wrote in his new book, as quoted by ESPN.
"Finally a few hours before the market closed, he let us know Arsenal would not make a move. I don't like to be told something and for it not to happen."
The 26-year-old stressed that he will never join the Emirates club after handing him a blow four years ago. He said, "So when Eric told me later that the London club were interested again, I told him 'Forget it, after the blow they gave us.'"
Wenger's decision to not make an approach could lead to unhappiness amongst a section of Arsenal supporters. The Gunners manager has failed to sign a host of players, who went on to become world class players at other clubs.
The Frenchman signed Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid late in the 2013 summer transfer window. The German international's contract at Arsenal will expire after the end of the season, following which he is likely to leave as a free agent next summer.
Meanwhile, Griezmann is now a target for Arsenal's league rivals Manchester United and La Liga leaders Barcelona. According to Catalan publication Mundo Deportivo, the former Sociedad star has reached an agreement in principle with a view to complete a switch to Camp Nou.
However, Barcelona will face a tough competition from United in landing Griezmann from Atletico. The forward is a long-term target for the Red Devils manager Jose Mourinho, who is likely to make another approach for him after the end of this campaign.