Arsenal defender Gabriel Magalhaes has explained why he turned down Manchester United despite reportedly holding a meeting with chief executive Ed Woodward in the summer of 2020.
Gabriel was linked with transfers either Arsenal or United that summer but eventually chose the Gunners.
It had been claimed that the Brazilian spoke to outgoing Red Devils chief Woodward about a potential move to Old Trafford.
This summer, United finally ended their wait to present boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with a new centre-back. Raphael Varane was signed in a bargain £35million deal from Real Madrid.
But it could have been Gabriel lining up alongside Harry Maguire. The 23-year-old has now explained why he chose Arsenal despite United’s relatively better success in recent years.
He revealed that messages from Arsenal’s huge supporter base pushed him towards moving to the Emirates Stadium.
“I’d always dreamt of playing in the Premier League and everyone knows Arsenal as one of the top clubs in the world,” he told talkSPORT.
“It’s true that Manchester United were also interested, but I was always focused on joining Arsenal.
“The fans sent some messages in the build-up and that was very important in my decision.
“Having been here for some time now, I am certain I made the right choice. I am very happy here, I’ve made some fantastic friendships and I hope we can win some trophies.”
Gabriel missed Arsenal’s disastrous start to the Premier League season, which included defeats in each of their opening three matches.
His return to the side has coincided with a run of three consecutive victories, culminated by the incredible 3-1 North London Derby win against Tottenham.
Those results have eased the strong pressure on boss Mikel Arteta, and Gabriel has revealed that he enjoys playing under the Spaniard.
“He is a top guy who is always helping out his players and his staff,” he continued.
“He supports us during tough times and I’m very happy to be coached by him.
“Without doubt, I’m learning a lot from him. He helps us a lot on the pitch, in terms of deciding how we are set up and the systems we use.
“He guides us forward but he also asks us questions about what we think might be best for the team.
“The communication in general between the players and the manager is very good. We want to do well for him because that’s exactly what he deserves.
“We see that he enjoys what he does and we want to achieve great things together.”