Former Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand admitted he wanted to join Arsenal in 2014 but Arsene Wenger refused to sanction the deal.
Ferdinand donned the United shirt for 12 years, winning a plethora of major trophies as he was involved in countless battles with Wenger’s Arsenal side, including the infamous game at Old Trafford in 2004 when the Red Devils ended the Gunners’ 49-unbeaten streak via goals from Wayne Rooney and Ruud van Nistelrooy.
Eventually, the Manchester-based club decided that he was surplus to requirements in 2014 and the veteran centre-half joined Queens Park Rangers, but featured just 12 times for The Rs before he decided to hang up his boots in the summer of 2015.
However, Ferdinand, who is now a regular pundit on BT Sport, claimed that he tried to engineer a move to the Emirates Stadium before joining QPR only for Wenger to turn down the chance to sign him.
“The maddest thing is I thought about [joining] Arsenal, as well,” he told his YouTube channel.
“At the end of my career when I was leaving Man United, I saw Arsene Wenger in a hotel.
The transfer window is in full swing and things are beginning to ramp up with Edu and Mikel Arteta’s dealings at the Emirates.
By signing up to our newsletter here, you’ll be kept up to date on the latest news and rumours as they break, all in one place. You’ll also receive exclusive insight and articles from club writers Chris Wheatley and Kaya Kaynak, plus a daily transfer round-up of all the day’s rumours and news, all for free!
We also want to hear from you. Create an account here in just a few moments, so you can have your say on all things Arsenal, join the debate and take part in exclusive Q&As as well.
“I said, ‘Arsene, listen, I am leaving Man United and if you want, I will come and try and help the dressing room etc. because I think you need help in that department.’
“‘I will obviously play but, more importantly, I will come for the culture.’ He didn’t take me up on the offer and he was right because my performances at QPR weren’t up to the levels.
“But in the changing room, I believe I could have helped him, because that is where a lot of the culture derives from.”