Eto'o: I nearly joined Arsenal in 2000

The Chelsea striker revealed he was on the verge of signing for Arsene Wenger's side before making his move to Mallorca permanent, with Luis Aragones key to the decision.
New Chelsea signing Samuel Eto'o has claimed he was on the verge of joining Arsenal earlier in his career.

The striker, who has been reunited with Jose Mourinho after joining on a free transfer from Anzhi Makhachkala in August, was struggling to break into the Real Madrid first team before joining Mallorca after a successful loan spell.

Eto'o, however, has revealed Arsene Wenger was keen on signing him in 2000, only for Luis Aragones, then in charge at the Son Moix Stadium, to persuade him to make his temporary move permanent.

"I met Luis at a crucial moment in my life where I had to take the right direction - and thanks to him I did," Eto'o told The Sun. "I was about to sign that very afternoon at Arsenal, and maybe I would have never been the player I am today. Luis picked me, then I ended up joining Barcelona.

"That decision changed everything."

Eto'o went on score 54 goals in 135 Liga outings for Mallorca, winning the Copa del Rey in the process, before claiming three Liga titles and two Champions League winners' medals with Barcelona.