Croatian midfielder Luka Modric claims he turned down the chance of a move to Arsenal last season.
The Dinamo Zagreb player has been the subject of intense speculation in recent months after impressing for club and country.
Modric revealed that Arsenal wanted to buy him last summer after signing his former team-mate Eduardo da Silva.
“Yes, I was close to moving to Arsenal,” Modric told El Mundo Deportivo.
“Arsene Wenger tried to sign me at the same time that he signed my friend Eduardo, a great striker that I was sure would make it at Arsenal to replace [Thierry] Henry.
“Wenger wanted me because the Czech Rosicky could have left. It was an honour that a manager who works so well with the youngsters was interested in me, but I preferred to wait.”
Barcelona are reported to be lining up a move at the end of the season and Modric has admitted he would prefer to move to Spain.
“I am prepared to play in every league, La Liga, Calcio, Premier League or Bundesliga, but I must admit that the Spanish league is the one that attracts me the most,” added Modric
“Playing for Barca must be something great,” he added. “It is an honour to know they are following me and defending their colours would be a huge challenge.”