Fresh off helping Turkish club İstanbul Basaksehir to their first Super Lig title, Senegal’s veteran striker Demba Ba has revealed how he almost signed for Arsenal in 2013.
On the books of fellow English Premier League (EPL) side Chelsea at the time, Ba revealed he was close to signing for the top London club. The move was blocked by Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho, who did not want the rival club to gain the signature of Ba.
Speaking in the August 2020 issue of FourFourTwo Ba said: “I was really close [to joining Arsenal]. I was at my house in Paris, having a day off, when I got a phone call from [Arsenal coach] Arsene Wenger – he asked if I’d come back to London for a medical.
“I woke up at 9 am on transfer deadline day, jumped on a train, got to London, but then it never happened. Arsenal made a couple of signings on the same day [Mesut Özil and Emiliano Viviano] and Mourinho chose to block the deal, as he didn’t want to help make one of Chelsea’s competitors stronger.”
On Wednesday, the 35-year-old was on the wrong end of a 3-0 scoreline at the hands of FC Copenhagen as Basaksehir crashed out of the Europa League.
The French-born player has been somewhat of a journeyman in his professional football career, representing no fewer than 11 different clubs since 2005.
His most successful period of his career came at German outfit 1899 Hoffenheim where he made 97 appearances, scoring 37 goals from 2007 to 2011.
In partnership with ANA and Sports Leo