Xabi Alonso was desperate to join Arsenal from Liverpool in the summer of 2009 before eventually moving to Real Madrid instead, according to Cesc Fabregas.
The Monaco midfielder revealed that his compatriot, who he played alongside as Spain won the European Championship in 2008, would’ve become a Gunners player if the club hierarchy hadn’t failed to complete what he claims was an easy deal.
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez was willing to let Alonso go, and the playmaker’s preference was to join Fabregas at Arsenal, but the north London club couldn’t complete a deal and the midfielder headed to the Bernabeu instead later in the window.
“I was with Xabi on the phone the whole summer,” Fabregas told Arseblog.
“He was dying to come. He was literally begging everyone to go to Arsenal, he really wanted to come.
“And to be honest, I did my best. I spoke to who I had to speak to. I gave my opinion, I thought that he was a fantastic addition for us at that time.
“And yeah I have to say that a couple of times like that I was frustrated by the lack of push, the final push – you know what I mean? That it’s so close, the player is dying to come, it’s so easy to make this deal.
“I am not a director, I see it from a player’s point of view. If it was me, if I wanted to go somewhere like I went to Arsenal, I do my everything to go to Arsenal.
“And I see that when a player wants to go somewhere, it’s easy. Forget contracts. Okay, sometimes it’s more difficult, if you have a long contract or something, but normally it should happen.
“And yeah, Xabi Alonso was one of them. I mean I was living it day-to-day because he was texting me all the time.
“‘I remember the whole holiday I was talking to him, he was texting me: ‘What’s happening?’
“And it was a shame, because I think he would have been a great, great, great addition to that team. He was made for Arsenal, I think.”