–Besiktas new signing reveals unfulfilled desire
Demba Ba came close to leaving Chelsea for Arsenal and still wanted to join the Gunners this summer before making the move to Besiktas.
The Gunners looked set to sign the striker on loan during the January transfer window last season but the deal fell through, with Blues boss Jose Mourinho unwilling to strengthen a rival club without having sufficient cover.
Ba eventually made an £8 million move to Besiktas, who were narrowly beaten 1-0 over two legs by the Gunners in a Champions League play-off.
“I’m happy at Besiktas,” he told reporters after the game. “How close did I come to joining Arsenal? As close as you and me here, but it’s past. I just look forwards.
“Everybody knew that I wanted to come here [to Arsenal]. I could have maybe waited longer in this transfer window but I wanted to go and play for Besiktas because it’s a great club.”
Despite Mourinho’s unwillingness to let Ba join Arsenal last January, the striker says that the Blues boss would have sanctioned a switch to the Emirates Stadium this summer.
“Yes, [he would have let me join Arsenal], because this time Jose told me,” he explained. “Last summer he wanted to keep me,but he said this time, if I had any opportunity, he would let me go.”