'There were clubs interested in me' - Elneny was a wanted man before agreeing Arsenal extension

The Egypt international midfielder has committed to fresh terms with the Gunners, but was attracting interest prior to penning a new contract

Mohamed Elneny has revealed that several clubs were interested in signing him before he committed to a contract extension with Arsenal.

The Egypt international has penned a new “long-term” deal with the Gunners which will keep him at Emirates Stadium for the foreseeable future.

It had appeared at one stage that he could be among those moved on during a period of some uncertainty in north London, with the 25-year-old having never been a regular under Arsene Wenger.

There were plenty of sides ready to snap him up if the exit door was opened, but Elneny has opted to stay put and continue chasing a dream with Arsenal which has delivered 69 appearances and an FA Cup triumph so far.

He told Arsenal Player: "There were some clubs interested in me because I was not playing enough games and maybe they thought they could sign me or even have me on loan.

"I heard about this in the news just like everyone else and I was not interested at all. I spoke with the people here at the club and I told them, ‘I don't want to leave. I want to fight for my position’.

"I trust myself, I have a dream to pursue and I am not going to give up on it. I dream big and this is one of the biggest clubs in the world and I want to stay. 

"The club welcomed my decision to stay and that was the end of it. People were saying, 'You aren't playing enough games, maybe you should leave or go on loan somewhere' but I wanted to prove myself. 

"I played the first game of the season in the Community Shield and I proved I can play for Arsenal and will continue to fight for my position."

Elneny joined Arsenal from FC Basel in January 2016.

He has faced fierce competition for places in the heart of the Gunners’ midfield throughout his time at the club, but has worked hard to keep himself in contention.

Another outing could be made in the Europa League quarter-finals against CSKA Moscow on Thursday, while a domestic suspension has been avoided following a successful appeal against a late red card picked up in a 3-2 Premier League victory over Southampton.