Manchester United midfielder Daley Blind has revealed he turned down the chance to join Arsenal despite the offer of an 'incredible' contract.
The Dutch international joined the Red Devils from Ajax last summer for a fee of around £14 million, going on to make 25 Premier League appearances last term.
The 25-year-old opted to join Manchester United because of his close relationship with Louis van Gaal, who selected him for the World Cup last year and appointed his father Danny as his assistant - however it could have been altogether very different.
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According to Blind, Arsenal contacted Ajax and promised a sizeable contract plus the offer of sorting out his education if he agreed to join the north London club.
His parents allowed him to make the decision - and Blind insists he doesn't regret deciding to stay and fight for a place in the Ajax first team before making a move to Manchester United.
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He said: “I had the chance to move to London at a young age. I was in the Ajax academy and one day I came home from school. My mum and dad said to me: ‘Arsenal have called today. They want you.’
“I thought they were taking the mickey. It was my dream to be a player in the first team of Ajax but we went to Arsenal. We were there for a day. It was great. They offered to sort out everything for my schooling, so I could get my A levels.
“They also offered me an incredible contract, especially for a boy of my age. Ajax offered me a contract too at the same time. The money was nowhere near what I could earn at Arsenal. My dad left it up to me and I decided to stay at Ajax."
Blind went on to play more than 100 league games for Ajax and helped the club win four league titles before opting to head to Old Trafford. He says money has never been a motivating factor for him and he is glad to have decided to remain in Holland.
“I let a lot of money slip away then and I can understand why some players, whose families need the money, say yes to clubs of Arsenal’s size," he explained. "I said no, partially because I was lucky to have everything I needed at home.
“The other reason I decided to say no, was that secretly I wanted to follow in the footsteps of my dad, Danny. He had been captain of Ajax, won every trophy in the world with them.’’
Blind arrived at Manchester United as part of a £150 million summer spree last year, and the Red Devils have continued to spend in the current window - bringing in five players so far for a combined fee of over £80 million.