The Besiktas striker was on the verge of joining the Gunners.
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Besiktas and former Chelsea striker Demba Ba has revealed that he nearly joined Arsenal in the summer before he made the switch to Turkey instead.
Ba was keen on a move to the Emirates Stadium and the Blues were prepared to sell him to their London rivals, but in the end the deal did not come to fruition – something the forward seems to regret.
“How close did I come to joining Arsenal? As close as you and me here, but it’s past,” the Senegal international was quoted by the Independent.
“Everybody knew that I wanted to come here [to Arsenal]. I could have maybe waited longer in this transfer window.
“Would I have been allowed to join Arsenal? Yes, because this time Jose [Mourinho] told me. Last summer he wanted to keep me, but he said this time if I had any opportunity he would let me go.”
Ba faced the Gunners over two-legs in the recent Champions League qualifying playoffs, with his side losing 1-0 on aggregate as Arsene Wenger’s men reached the Group Stage for the 17th successive season.
The African spent 18 months with the Blues before the move to Besiktas following a January 2013 transfer from Newcastle United, but failed to ever truly settle at Stamford Bridge.
During his time with Newcastle, the West Londoners and West Ham United before that, Ba scored 43 goals in 99 Premier League appearances.
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