Back in the summer of 2008, speculation raged in the tabloids that Alonso was an Arsenal target after being deemed surplus to requirements at his then club Liverpool, with Reds boss Rafa Benitez intent on swapping his Spanish maestro for Gareth Barry.
But Alonso was a real fans’ favourite at Anfield, having helped the club win their historic fifth European Cup in 2005, as well as a memorable FA Cup triumph over West Ham in 2006, so would he really have left for another Premier League club?
Well, in the end, Alonso moved to Real Madrid for around £30 million in the summer of 2009, but Fabregas claims his pal was hell-bent on becoming a Gooner.
Speaking on the latest edition of the Arsecast Podcast, Fabregas said: “I was with Xabi on the phone the whole summer.
“He was dying to come. He was literally begging everyone to go to Arsenal, he really wanted to come.
“And to be honest, I did my best. I spoke to who I had to speak to. I gave my opinion, I thought that he was a fantastic addition for us at that time.
“And yeah I have to say that a couple of times like that I was frustrated by the lack of push, the final push – you know what I mean? That it’s so close, the player is dying to come, it’s so easy to make this deal.
“And yeah, Xabi Alonso was one of them. I mean I was living it day-to-day because he was texting me all the time.
“I remember the whole holiday I was talking to him, he was texting me: ‘What’s happening?’ And it was a shame, because I think he would have been a great, great, great addition to that team.
“He was made for Arsenal, I think.”
How different could Arsenal have looked if they’d managed to pull off this signing, eh? And doesn’t it seem quite strange that neither Liverpool or Arsenal were particularly bothered by having such a brilliant World Cup winner in the centre of their midfield?
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