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Chiellini: Why I Turn Down Chance To Sign For Arsenal 

Chiellini: Why I Turn Down Chance To Sign For Arsenal 

Juventus legend Giorgio Chiellini has revealed why he turned down the chance to join Arsenal when they attempted to sign him at the age of 16.

Chiellini, 36, revealed that 20 years ago he had the opportunity to sign for Arsene Wenger’s Gunners, but turned them down because he did not want to leave boyhood club Livorno.

In an interview with French magazine So Foot, Chiellini says: “In hindsight, I was a fool to decline that offer. I was 16, I played in Serie C, I got a huge offer.

“I didn’t feel ready. If I had accepted, it would have given the impression of betraying Livorno.”

Chiellini is now into his 16th season with Juventus, but remained a player of interest for Arsenal long after their failed attempts to recruit him as a teenager.

Former Gunners striker Robin van Persie
revealed in December 2020 that he had tried to persuade Wenger to return for the now-established Italy international, in order to boost Arsenal’s ultimately futile attempts to win the Premier League title.

Van Persie said: “At a given moment I felt called upon to say what Arsenal could do better in order to win the league. I felt we lacked a winning mentality, and asked Arsene Wenger to sign Giorgio Chiellini.

“I have played against him a few times, and he is a genuine winner.

“He is 36 years old, but he’ll dish out nine elbows every game with a smile on his face. He’ll keep smiling and never get a yellow card. You need those types of winners and killers in your side. I felt we should get him.”

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