Dutch winger reveals Arsenal interest

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Arsenal tried to sign Ibrahim Afellay on a number of occasions, but could not agree a price with either PSV Eindhoven of Barcelona.

Afellay confirmed the Gunners’ interest in him when speaking ahead of the clash between Arsene Wenger’s side and Schalke 04, where he is currently on loan from Camp Nou, before going on a scoring the game-killing goal as Arsenal were beaten 2-0 at home in the Champions League by a foreign team for the first time in nine years.

Despite Arsenal’s unwillingness to ever meet his asking price, the 26-year-old is not bitter and does not intend to go out for revenge when Schalke travel to Emirates Stadium for the third round of group games.

"Arsenal were interested in me in the last few years at PSV and Barcelona. But, finally, it was not possible to close the subject,” he told Sky Sports.

“I believe that money was the difference between the clubs. The scouts of Wenger have always liked my work but have never made the decisive move. But this is not a trauma for me.”

This vindicates reports earlier in the summer of Wenger apparently being interested in the Holland international.

At the time, it was suggested Arsenal were considering a loan move for Afellay with the uncertainty surrounding Theo Walcott’s continuing contract dispute in mind.

Wenger eventually decided to keep the England winger until January in the hope he would sign an extension, but that has yet to happen.

Afellay, meanwhile, has been getting back to something like the form he showed before injury blighted his second season at Barcelona and the Gunners felt the brunt of it on Wednesday night.

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