Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed the club put in a bid for Barcelona striker Neymar, which was just £1 short of his £198 million release clause.
Wenger said it was hugely disappointing when the Spaniards turned down the offer last week and he accused them of acting in a petty manner not worthy of their global status.
Wenger dismissed claims that the attempt to land the Brazilian superstar’s signature had been a publicity stunt to fool supporters into thinking Arsenal was actively trying to attract the best talent in the world.
“If you look at my record you will see I have never been interested in trying to gain favour with the fans,” the Frenchman said indignantly.
“We made a genuine offer for Neymar. However, Barcelona decided they wanted to be childish and hold out for a mere pound more.”
The Frenchman rejected suggestions that Arsenal could have gazumped PSG’s successful offer for Neymar by matching the offer and adding an extra 50 pence on top.
“That would just be silly and make us look trivial, but we at Arsenal have a proud tradition in the transfer market and I do not want to jeopardise that,” he insisted.
And Wenger added he did have good news regarding landing new signings.
“I am delighted to announce that after protracted negotiations former Arsenal favourite Nicklas Bendtner has agreed to come back to our club,” he beamed.