Roma midfielder Miralem Pjanic has revealed he was close to joining Arsenal two years ago, but a vow from his father prompted his move to Italy.
The playmaker moved to Rome from Lyon on transfer deadline day in August 2011 and has become an influential figure at the Stadio Olimpico, but revealed he came within an inch of signing for the Gunners.
Arsene Wenger had agreed to pay €11 million (£9.5m) for the 23-year-old, who admits he had agreed a deal at the Emirates Stadium only to decide to heed a promise made by his father to the Giallorossi.
“I had a number of offers at the time and I was set to join Arsenal,” he told Avaz Sport. “I had agreed all of the conditions that had been put into place.
“However, my father had given his word to Roma and therefore I opted to sign for the Giallorossi instead.”