Yossi Benayoun has revealed that he held talks with Liverpool prior to making a move to Arsenal on deadline day.
The Israeli left the Reds to join Chelsea during the summer of 2010, but injuries prevented him from getting his career going at Stamford Bridge and his former club were keen on bringing him back this summer.
“I had a few good options from clubs in England and outside,” Benayoun told reporters. “There was a few talks with Liverpool. A few teams but as soon as I heard about Arsenal my mind was made up.”
The 31-year-old then made a move to Arsenal on a season-long loan following the exits of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri to Barcelona and Manchester City respectively.
The former West Ham United man maintained that he knew his move would only take place on deadline day, as the Blues were waiting to wrap up a deal for either Raul Meireles or Luka Modric first.
“The media thought it was dramatic, but I knew it would go to the last day,” said Benayoun. “There was an agreement between me and Chelsea that we would wait until then because they wanted to bring in another player – either Meireles or Modric.
“I first heard about the interest from Arsenal eight days before the end of the window and when I knew they wanted me it was an easy choice.
“Deadline day was calm for me. I flew in from Israel in the morning, from the national team, and knew it was going to happen.”
Benayoun made his first start for the Gunners against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League, which ended 1-1, as Ivan Perisic’s superb volley late on cancelled out Robin van Persie’s first-half effort.
“I think it was a good start for us in the competition,” he said. “We were unlucky because they scored a lovely goal at the end, but we need to be happy with the point.
“We had a good performance and hopefully we can take confidence from this and build for Blackburn.
“I want to improve my understanding with the team but I think there’s plenty of quality in this team so we’ll quickly understand each other and be better.”