Real Madrid winger Angel di Maria says it 'hurt' him to be linked with a move to Tottenham last year.
The Argentinian looked to be on his way out of Real Madrid in 2013 following the arrival of Gareth Bale from Tottenham.
Indeed, there were rumours that Di Maria could be used as a makeweight in the deal to move Bale from Spurs, although that eventually fell through and Madrid forked out a world record £87 million transfer fee for the Welshman.
A year on and Di Maria's decision to stay and fight for his place in the Real Madrid side looks vindicated - he featured in 34 of Madrid's league games and was man of the match as they beat Atletico Madrid in the Champions League final.
The 26-year-old says he is glad he stayed put, but admits it was tough to be linked with a move to Tottenham.
“It hurts when you’re always doing your best for your club and then you hear that you might be going to Tottenham," he told Marca.
“I spoke with the manager last summer. I wanted to stay and he wanted me to stay as well. He told me that he counted on me and it was up to me from then on.
“I have grown a lot under Ancelotti," he continued. "He got the best out of me. Things have gone well and I made the right decision to stay.”
Having been linked with Tottenham last year, it appears as though Arsenal could be ready to swoop for Di Maria this time round.
The Gunners are believed to be eyeing a swoop for the winger, who admits he could well leave the Bernabeu.
“I am not going to lie, I know that there are clubs that want to sign me and can match Real Madrid’s demands,” he continued.
“But that’s up to my representatives and the club. I will stay if the club wants me to stay.
“I am not thinking about my future now. We will see what Madrid have in mind, whether they want me to stay or leave.
“I am happy at Madrid. I had a great season and always had everybody’s support. But sometimes you don’t have a choice, even when you want to stay yourself.”
Arsenal could face competition for his signature however - Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United and Manchester City are said to be monitoring his situation.
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