Barcelona starlet reveals Arsenal snub

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Sergi Samper has revealed that he turned down a summer move to Arsenal in order to focus on establishing himself in the Barcelona midfield.

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The talented 21-year-old is highly regarded at the Camp Nou, but despite seeing his playing-time limited by the likes of Ivan Rakitic, Andre Gomes and Rafinha, he spurned the opportunity to leave his boyhood club for the Gunners.

Following the arrival of Gomes from Valencia in a big-money deal, the Catalan giants had been prepared to do a deal, but the move broke down following talks with Arsene Wenger.

Currently on a season-long loan with fellow La Liga side Granada, Samper admitted in an interview with the Andalusian club’s official site (via Mirror Sport) that he rejected Arsenal in the hope of becoming a regular at Barcelona.

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“I did not want to even listen to [Arsene] Wenger,” he said.

I made it clear to him that I wanted to stay, that I wanted to triumph at Barca, that I was a Cule fanatic and that making it at Barca in the future would make me the happiest.

“I feel important in the team. I am enjoying where I am and I hope that we can change the situation.”

An elegant but destructive midfielder in the mould of Sergio Busquets, the Spain Under-21 international has swiftly settled into life at the Estadio Nuevo Los Cármenes, making 13 appearances so far this campaign in what has been one of the few plus points for the relegation battlers.

Granada currently sit in 19th place in the La Liga table, just one point off the bottom and six clear of safety.

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