London - Barcelona
midfielder Sergi Samper claims he turned down the chance to sign for
Arsenal in the pre-season transfer window because he wants to succeed at
The 21-year-old was subsequently sent to Granada on a season-long
loan deal with Barca head coach Luis Enrique keen for him to get game
time to aid his development and him unlikely to do so at Barcelona with
Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta and Ivan Rakitic also in his squad.
With Samper's future seemingly in doubt at the time, Arsenal made an
approach for the youngster, but he was not interested in making a
permanent move away from the Nou Camp.
"I did not want to listen to Wenger," he told Granada's official website.
"I told him clearly that I wanted to stay, I wanted to succeed at
Barcelona, and what would make me happy was succeeding at Barcelona in
Samper has made 13 La Liga appearances for Granada this season and
has looked impressive despite the side's poor form that sees them sit
second last in the standings and set for a battle against relegation.
"I feel important in the team. I am enjoying where I am and I hope that we can change the situation," he added.
Arsenal have a history of poaching Barcelona's best youth prospects from the Catalan's famed La Masia academy having signed Cesc Fabregas and current right-back Hector Bellerin.