Youssef Msakni claims he turned down Arsenal to move to Qatar

The promising Tunisian forward rejected approaches from a host of top European clubs to move to the Middle East, explaining only the Qataris showed the willingness to sign him
Tunisia forward Youssef Msakni has claimed he rejected a move to Arsenal among other top teams to sign a four-year deal with Qatari club Lekhwiya.

The Esperance Tunis player will move to Qatar on January 1, 2013, after setting a new Tunisian transfer record of approximately €11.5 million (£9.1m).

The 21-year-old was linked with Arsene Wenger's side, as well as French clubs Lille, PSG and Montpellier, but opted for a move to the Middle East instead, stating that the European clubs did not show the desire or willingness to have him that Lekhwiya displayed.

"I wanted to play in Qatar, the opportunity was given to me and I took it," Msakni told Sky Sports.

"I am looking forward to impressing in that league. Arsenal were also keen but not enough for me to choose them, maybe one day I will be in a very big league in Europe.

"Lille were interested and wanted me but they did not show the willingness to have me in their club like the Qataris."