Tottenham Hotspur star Rafael van der Vaart has suggested he could have stayed at Real Madrid before departing for first-team football in London.
When Dutch compatriots Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder left for Bayern Munich and Internazionale respectively, Los Merengues offered him the option to stay, but he turned them down.
The 27-year-old also suggested he turned down Spurs a year ago so that wife Sylvie could continue her chemotherapy in Spain after she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
"I would have moved to Bayern Munich, but they weren't interested," he told the News of the World.
"Arsenal? Yes of course, that would have been fantastic.
"When Madrid sold Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder they asked me whether I would like to stay - I would even get my No. 23 shirt back.
"What I went through is part of football - but it wasn't nice. Football is best when you're ten years old."