Bengaluru, Dec 5: Retired Manchester United midfielder and current assistant coach Michael Carrick in a candid interview has suggested that he could have been an Arsenal player instead Tottenham Hotspur but the move never fell through.
The English midfielder who made almost 700 club appearances and won 12 major titles, came through the ranks of West Ham United, his first Premier League side. His impressive display for the Hammers caught the eye of various Premier league sides and apparently London rivals Arsenal were one of them.
Carrick in a recent interview with magazine FourFourTwo has revealed that regarding a move to Emirates he met with Arsene Wenger and had the primary talk.
However, the move later did not materialise and instead, he opted for their arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur. Carrick also explained that he believes the emergence of Fabregas changed the Arsenal boss' mind who chose to promote the young Spaniard instead of signing a new name.
“I was really close to signing for Arsenal, and even had a meeting with Arsene Wenger at his house. I thought it was a done deal and I was going to Arsenal," Carrick told FourFourTwo.
"I met with Wenger on Friday but then on the Sunday Arsenal played United in the Charity Shield. Cesc Fabregas was handed his chance and had a great game and I think Wenger decided to give him a run in the side and the deal was off."
Carrick joined Spurs in 2004 ahead of Arsenal and spent two seasons with the London based side before moving to Old Trafford. But interestingly, he also has mentioned that following his move to Spurs, he came to know that then manager Jacques Santini didn't know who he was. He revealed that the move was solely done by Sporting director Frank Arnesen and on his first day of training he got bemuse when he came to know he is unfamiliar to the manager.
“He didn’t seem to know who I was – it was a very strange moment.
“I arrived at Spurs’ training ground and said to my adviser Dave , 'I’m not too sure he knows who I am!’ He said, 'I think you’re right'."
“I’d signed that morning, so it was all agreed with the club and I went to his office to meet him. It was weird. I ended up with the reserve team on my first day of training, and later found out that I’d been signed more by Frank Arnesen, who was Spurs’ sporting director.”
Carrick who is now an assistant manager of Jose Mourinho at United won five titles with the Red Devils along with one Champions League and Europa league each and is regarded one of the finest midfielders ever to grace the Premier League.