Eden Hazard reportedly wanted to join Arsenal before signing for Chelsea but his agent vetoed the move.
Rewind to the 2011/12 season when the young Belgian was making a name for himself at Lille.
Having led the French club to a domestic cup league and league title, the Premier League beckoned, with a number of clubs interested in acquiring the winger.
Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea and both halves of Manchester were allegedly keen, with Hazard eventually agreeing a move to Stamford Bridge.
However, his first choice was thought to be London rivals Arsenal. That’s according to the player’s former agent, John Bico, who claimed that the Emirates was Hazard and his family’s first option.
However, Bico was firmly against the move and vetoed his decision from the get-go, believing Chelsea was the better option.
Speaking to DH back in 2021, Bico explained: “[Arsenal] was his number one choice. His father’s number one choice too. But for me, it was a categorical refusal even when I really like this club, its history.
“Except that at the time, there were too many young people and too many French people. It would have been a little like Lille. Eden accepted this veto.
“Hardly, but he did. Arsenal would have been a decision of the heart but not that of a man even if it costs me to say that. With the environment there, I’m not sure he would have reached the same maturity as a man but also as a player.”
However, recent reports would suggest that Bico had ulterior motives for Hazard’s move to Chelsea.
According to The Times, Abramovich’s company Leiston Holdings ‘made a secret €7m payment’ (£6.1 million) to Bico in an attempt to lure Hazard to west London.
The underhand deal was part of a series of offshore payments which were leaked in new documents last month.
Negotiations for both Willian and Samuel Eto’o are also said to be under investigation by the Premier League, with the Blues at risk of receiving a heavy fine or points deduction.