Arsene Wenger says he nearly brought Yoann Gourcuff to Arsenal from Lyon in the summer, but the midfielder needing surgery scuppered the move.
The France international has been absent for OL so far this season due to the knee injury that prevented his move to the Premier League, but is expected to return to action after the international break.
“I was interested in Yoann Gourcuff because at one time he was available,” Wenger revealed to Eurosport.
“Unfortunately, we were in a hurry. We had to have players performing soon.
“He was at that time about to have surgery. The timing was not good for us. But I had learned of his medical condition.
“Unfortunately, we were in doubt because it was not certain if Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas would leave.”
The 25-year-old Gourcuff joined Lyon a year ago from Ligue 1 rivals Bordeaux, having previously played for AC Milan.
Nasri and Fabregas have since left the Gunners, and Wenger instead moved for Mikel Arteta and Yossi Benayoun to take their places in the squad.