Morgan Schneiderlin turned down a chance to sign for Arsenal because Arsene Wenger could not guarantee him a starting spot, according to Goal's chief correspondent Wayne Veysey.
Schneiderlin is set to be the latest star to leave Southampton this summer, but the France international will not be joining Calum Chambers at Arsenal after rejecting the advances of Wenger. Instead the player will join Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham.
There seems to be several reasons why Schneiderlin chose White Hart Lane over the Emirates Stadium. One is that he was keen to reunite with former Southampton coach Pochettino, who replaced Tim Sherwood earlier this summer. Now it appears first team football was also a deciding factor.
Pochettino helped Schneiderlin develop into the player he is now - one that was selected for France's World Cup squad. The idea of further developing that partnership has apparently overruled the prospect of playing Champions League football with Arsenal.
If Schneiderlin had joined Arsenal he would be competing with a host of stars for a starting place. Aaron Ramsey is guaranteed a starting spot when fit, leaving Mikel Arteta, Mathieu Flamini, Jack Wilshere and Abou Diaby to fight it out for the deep lying role.
Such intense competition would have limited the 24-year-old's playing time and may have stalled his development. Meanwhile Tottenham are looking for a midfield anchor to supplement Paulinho and Pochettino may have promised him a key role in his team.
Double transfer deal
Schneiderlin will not travel to north London alone when his prospective move to Tottenham is complete. Jay Rodriguez is reported to be following him.
Schneiderlin is thought to be valued at £27 million by Southampton while Rodriguez is expected to take the double transfer towards the £35 million mark. That would take the total revenue Southampton have received in transfer over £120 million.
Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, Rickie Lambert and Chambers have all left St Mary's so far. Two signings have been made in the form of Dusan Tadic from FC Twente and Graziano Pelle from Feyenoord.
Schneiderlin and Rodriguez are likely to be the biggest arrivals at White Hart Lane this summer as Pochettino looks to use the players already at his disposal. Tottenham spent over £100 million in the transfer market last summer but still could not force their way into the top four.
Swansea stars Ben Davies and Michel Vorm have joined with Gylfi Sigurdsson moving in the opposite direction.