Lecce striker David Di Michele has claimed he was close to joining Arsenal almost a decade ago.
The Italian veteran, who has played for Udinese, Reggina, Torino and West Ham United in his career, was regarded as a star of the future during his time with Salernitana between 1998 and 2001, when a number of clubs were keen to sign the player.
“It’s very true to say that when I was at Salernitana, my move to Napoli was all done. Then everything collapsed,” he told Premium Calcio.
“I was also close to Arsenal and above all Inter, but there was a bidding war and the Salernitana President stopped me from joining the Nerazzurri. I must admit, the train of opportunity passed me by."
Currently helping his club fight against relegation, Di Michele's time in England was short-lived and the forward failed to make an impact at Upton Park.
Had circumstances been different, an opportunity may have arose for the former Italian international to try his luck in the Barclays Premier League under Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger at old ground Highbury.
The Gunners have had few Italian success stories, with Vito Mannone the only member of the current Arsenal squad to hail from the country.
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