Tottenham defender Emerson Royal has admitted that he held discussions with Arsenal technical director Edu ahead of his arrival from Barcelona this summer.
The Brazilian right-back, who had only officially become a Barca player a matter of weeks earlier, signed for Tottenham on deadline day in a £26m deal, penning a five-year contract in the process.
The 22-year-old has endured a frustrating start to his Spurs career having not yet been on the winning side in the Premier League – that run culminating in a 3-1 loss to Arsenal in the North London Derby last weekend.
Ironically, Emerson could actually have been lining up for the opposing side at the Emirates Stadium having revealed tentative talks with the Gunners earlier this summer.
Talking to ESPN Brazil, the defender said: “I actually had a conversation with Edu. I did talk to Edu in the same week.
“And we talked, he showed me the desire of the club and such. And, of course, I needed Barcelona, I couldn’t settle anything with anyone, Barcelona had to deal club to club.”
Whilst talks were held, the Brazilian has also revealed that the prospect of progressing his career with Spurs was one of the prime reasons for choosing his current employers over Arsenal.
He continued: “And that’s where Barcelona went and found deal with Tottenham. I also got to talk to Tottenham, at first I didn’t have any verbal agreement with anyone. And that’s when Barcelona told me that they had made an agreement with Tottenham.
“I listened to the proposal, for me it was a good proposal, not only financial, for me that’s what counts least, but it had a very good career project for me. So this is why I chose to come to Tottenham.”
Whilst yet to experience a Premier League win and with the team currently sitting below Arsenal in the table, Emerson has remained staunch over his choice and appears to have little regret.
He added: “We came here, I’m very happy here, I’m very grateful at heart. And wanting to be in my best shape as soon as possible to help my team even more.”