Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger met with Alexis Sanchez during the World Cup to convince him to snub Juventus and sign instead for Arsenal, reports in Spain claim.
The new Arsenal signing decided to leave Barcelona at the end of last season after struggling to secure a permanent place in the Catalans' starting line-up, even though he scored 19 La Liga goals last season.
The winger's initial aim was to move back to Italy, where he enjoyed an excellent time during his spell at Udinese, and his first-choice was to join Juventus – with a verbal agreement in place between the teams.
It looked as though all was set for Sanchez to play at Juventus next season but Spanish newspaper Sport claims that Wenger's personal approach during the World Cup totally changed the Chile international's mind and, eventually, his future.
The French boss met with Sanchez in Brazil promising to meet whatever Barcelona demanded for his services and revealing that he had been monitoring the player's development since his time at River Plate.
Sanchez was quickly attracted to the idea of moving to London and the rest is now history.
Arsenal chief Richard Law led the negotiations with Barcelona, and in just a few days the Gunners reached an agreement to complete their first summer signing for a fee believed to be in the region of £30m.
After the official announcement, Sanchez revealed his satisfaction, telling the club's official website "I'm so happy to be joining Arsenal, a club which has a great manager, a fantastic squad of players, huge support around the world and a great stadium in London."
"I'm looking forward to meeting my new team-mates and to be playing for Arsenal in the Premier League and Champions League. I will give my best to Arsenal and want to make all the supporters happy."
Liverpool were also reportedly keen to bring the Chile forward to Anfield as part of the Luis Suarez deal, but the club conceded defeat upon learning of his desire to join the Gunners.