Juventus centre-back Giorgio Chiellini has lifted the lid on his failed move to Arsenal in 2001 as he claimed he was a ‘fool’ to reject the club.
The Italy international claims the Gunners offered him a huge salary when he was just 16, but felt it would be a betrayal to leave Livorno.
Arsene Wenger was keen to bring the defender to North London, but Chiellini has revealed he was too loyal to Livorno, a decision he now regrets.
The nine-time Serie A champion has stated that he was offered a whopping 200million Italian Lira-a-year by Arsenal, which was roughly around £66,000-per-year.
Speaking to So Foot via Goal about his failed move, the 36-year-old said: “In hindsight, I was a fool to decline that offer.
“I was 16, I played in Serie C, I got a huge offer for just under 200 million lira-a-season.
“I didn’t feel ready. If I had accepted, it would have given the impression of betraying Livorno.”