Cesc Fàbregas has revealed that Xabi Alonso "begged everyone" for a move to Arsenal in 2009, only for the club to fluff the "easy" deal.
Then-Liverpool manager Rafa Benítez gave Alonso his blessing to leave, with the Reds boss eager to replace him with Gareth Barry.
Just a year earlier, Alonso had won the World Cup alongside Fàbregas with Spain and was keen to be reunited with his countryman at Arsenal.
But, despite Fàbregas' own best efforts, the Gunners' hierarchy did not complete the deal and, later that summer, Alonso joined Real Madrid instead.
Asked about players that Arsenal missed out on during an interview on the Arsecast podcast, Fàbregas said of Alonso:
He's one. I was with Xabi on the phone the whole summer. He was dying to come. He was literally begging everyone to go to Arsenal, he really wanted to come.
And to be honest, I did my best. I spoke to who I had to speak to. I gave my opinion, I thought that he was a fantastic addition for us at that time.
And yeah I have to say that a couple of times like that I was frustrated by the lack of push, the final push - you know what I mean?
That it's so close, the player is dying to come, it's so easy to make this deal. I am not a director, I see it from a player's point of view. If it was me, if I wanted to go somewhere like I went to Arsenal, I do my everything to go to Arsenal. And I see that when a player wants to go somewhere, it's easy. Forget contracts. OK, sometimes it's more difficult, if you have a long contract or something, but normally it should happen.
And yeah, Xabi Alonso was one of them. I mean I was living it day-to-day because he was texting me all the time. I remember the whole holiday I was talking to him, he was texting me: "What's happening?"
And it was a shame, because I think he would have been a great, great, great addition to that team. He was made for Arsenal, I think.