West Ham United midfielder Mohamed Diame has revealed how he almost signed for Liverpool prior to moving to Upton Park and also held talks with Arsenal over a possible transfer last summer.
The Daily Star reports how the 26-year-old joined Sam Allardyce's side from Wigan Athletic on a free transfer in 2012 following the east London club's return to the Premier League.
However, his Hammers switch only came about after talks over a move to Anfield broke down following the sacking of former Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish.
The Reds legend was replaced by Brendan Rodgers, who had no desire to bring the Senegal international to Merseyside, so the proposed switch never transpired.
"In my head I was already in Liverpool," Diame recalled. "It was next, I told everyone that I was there. It was as if one of my greatest wishes - to wear the Liverpool shirt - had been accomplished.
"One day my agent and I went to the training centre to see Kenny Dalglish, who was the coach. I found myself amongst photos of [Steven] Gerrard and company, all these great players. I was proud of myself.
"I arrived in the office and Dalglish said 'I can't guarantee you'll play every match but we have a lot of games to play'. He talked to me about the European Cup, my benefits and the pre-season trip to America. He sold me the dream!
"So I went on holiday expecting my agent to make contact with Liverpool's management to discuss the financial arrangements. Unfortunately, Dalglish was fired and all negotiations stopped.
"I told myself that God wanted it that way and that is not a reason for me to stop work. It will happen one day."
In the two years since, Diame has been one of West Ham's most consistent performers, the box-to-box midfielder earning widespread praise for his commanding displays in the middle of the park.
His fine form has also attracted admiring glances from Gunners boss Arsene Wenger, who came close to luring the African enforcer to the Emirates Stadium ahead of the 2013/14 campaign.
"There were proposals last summer," he confirmed. "I was thinking of going to Arsenal but it didn't happen so I stayed at West Ham, because I felt good here."
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