Inter Milan captain Javier Zanetti has revealed team-mate Ricky Alvarez came within inches of signing for Arsenal over the summer, before the veteran Argentinian defender persuaded him his future lay at the San Siro.

Both the Gunners and Inter were tracking Alvarez over the summer and appeared ready to go head to head for the Velez Sarsfield player, before the Nerazurri snapped up the 23-year-old from under Arsene Wenger’s nose.

“Let’s say that he was very close to Arsenal,” Zanetti told FC Inter News. “I rang him and said: ‘Listen Ricky, I know that Inter are following you’.

“I then explained what Inter are all about, that we are a great family and that he would settle in well here. He listened to me…” he added.

Alvarez has made eight appearances for the Italian giants since his £12 million summer switch, finding the back of the net once.

The talented youngster has found his first team opportunities limited so far thanks to the presence of Dutchman Wesley Sneijder at the heart of Inter’s midfield, giving rise to media rumours last month that Alvarez could complete a shock loan switch to Arsenal when the January transfer window opens.

The Metro reported last month that officials from the Emirates Stadium have already held talks with Inter over the switch, who are said to be willing to loan him out in order to build his match fitness after recovering from a serious knee ligament injury last campaign.

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