Invincible turned down Real Madrid to join Arsenal

Invincible turned down Real Madrid to join Arsenal


Former Arsenal right back Lauren says he turned down the chance to join Real Madrid to sign for the Gunners.

The retired Cameroon defender signed for the north London side in 2000 from Real Mallorca in a 10 million euro deal.

Lauren went on to play 242 games for the Gunners and won the Premier League twice as well as three FA Cups. He was part of the ‘Invincibles’ team that went through the entire Premier League campaign unbeaten in 2003-04.

In an interview with AS, the now 39-year-old revealed how his move to Arsenal took place and said Los Blancos were interested in him at the time as well.

“I met up with David Dein and Arsène Wenger on the outskirts of London. They offered me a cup of tea and we talked about football. I took that as their way of trying to figure me out psychologically as they already knew what I was like on the pitch,” he said.

About the chance to join Real, he said presidential candidate Juan Onieva approached him but he was too tempted to join Arsenal.

“Onieva made me an offer to join Madrid but it was the encouragement I got from Wenger which convinced me that Arsenal was the place for me.”