Arsenal playmaker admits summer Liverpool rejection

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Arsenal loanee Yossi Benayoun has revealed he held talks with Liverpool over a return to Anfield, but rejected the opportunity in favour of an Emirates move.

The Chelsea playmaker has confirmed that an agreement was in place between both player and club over a summer switch, providing the club could bring in a new midfielder, and the arrival of Raul Meireles sealed the deal for a deadline day switch.

Whilst the move to Arsenal caught some by surprise, Benayoun was expecting the deal to happen late, and never panicked over his final destination for the current campaign.

"The media thought it was dramatic, but I knew it would go to the last day," said the Israeli international, who started for the Gunners in their 1-1 draw against Borussia Dortmund.

"There was an agreement between me and Chelsea that we would wait until then because they wanted to bring in another player - either [Raul] Meireles or [Luka] Modric.

"I first heard about the interest from Arsenal eight days before the end of the window and when I knew they wanted me it was an easy choice.

"I had a few good options from clubs in England and outside. There was a few talks with Liverpool.

"A few teams but as soon as I heard about Arsenal my mind was made up. Deadline day was calm for me. I flew in from Israel in the morning, from the national team, and knew it was going to happen."

Had the 31-year-old joined Liverpool, it would have seen the player make an Anfield return just a season after leaving for west London in a deal thought to be around £5.5 million.


The player spent three seasons on Merseyside, making 92 Barclays Premier League appearances for Liverpool after joining the Reds in 2007 under Rafa Benitez.

However, a Liverpool return was not to be, and Arsene Wenger snared the experienced attacking midfielder ahead of their domestic rivals.

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Yossi Benayoun
Premier League

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