New Atletico Madrid winger Antoine Griezmann has admitted that he turned down interest from Arsenal over the summer.
The French international earned a spot in France's squad at the World Cup after another exceptional season for Real Sociedad. Arsene Wenger was thought to be keen to bring him to the Emirates Stadium, but as reported by Goal.com, the €30m-rated star preferred to stay in Spain and join Atletico.
"Why Spain and not elsewhere?" said Griezmann to France Football. "This is my championship, my home. I'm happy here and Atletico is a great club.
"The [champions] were willing to pay €30m for me," he continued. "I had the boss on the phone. He motivated me and said the club really wanted me. I knew that I was coming here to learn.
"Was it weird when PSG and Arsenal were also interested? [Atletico] are still the champions of Spain! I needed a club like that and a coach like Diego Simeone to progress. I always demand intensity in training. That's my style and I like it."
Several interested clubs
The 23-year-old winger was in-demand over the summer after his eye-catching performances for Real Sociedad, as Arsenal, PSG and Atletico were reportedly not the only clubs keeping tabs.
Atletico pulled the trigger though as Arsenal instead signed Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona. Wenger then snapped up Danny Welbeck from Manchester United on deadline day.
As for Atletico, it was crucial for the club to reinvest the money received from the sale of star duo Filipe Luis and Diego Costa to Chelsea. Having received the best part of £50m for the pair, Atletico had the cash to meet Real Sociedad's asking price for the €30m-rated Frenchman.