Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has revealed that he was on the verge of joining Tottenham Hotspur earlier in his career, only for the deal to fall through.
The 32-year-old Gabon international joined Arsenal from Dortmund in 2018 for a cost of roughly £58 million, becoming Arsene Wenger's final major signing at the Emirates.
When Aubameyang joined Arsenal, he was one of Europe's most sought-after players, but when he moved to Germany from St Etienne in 2013, he was less well-known.
The Gabonese captain did, however, undertake preliminary negotiations with Tottenham about a move to north London's white half.
Aubameyang has stated that he visited White Hart Lane, but that Spurs 'never called back,' and that they missed out on the chance to sign him.
Asked if he would rather retire or join Tottenham, Aubameyang said: ‘You don’t have to ask the question. You know it already, I would retire.
‘Even more [so] because a few years ago I was close to signing for Tottenham but in the end… I don’t know what they did
‘I was in Saint-Etienne I think [at the time], I’m not sure, or at the beginning of [my spell at Borussia] Dortmund. I don’t remember exactly. I came here, I went to the stadium as well, to White Hart Lane.
‘The day after they just never gave an answer, they never called back so I was like: ”Ok, don’t worry”, so that’s why every time I play against them, they know [why I am extra motivated].’
After Granit Xhaka was deprived of captaincy, Aubameyang was named captain. The striker is in the middle of a three-year contract extension at the Emirates, and he's had a strong start to the season, scoring seven goals in 11 games.
Following the international break, Arsenal will face Liverpool at Anfield, with Arteta looking to extend his side's ten-match unbeaten streak.