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Elia: Arsenal showed interest in me

Eljero Elia

Holland winger Eljero Elia has revealed there was interest in him from Arsenal before he finally completed a deadline-day move to Juventus.

The 24-year-old, who had grown dissatisfied at Hamburg, rejected the possibility of a move to Galatasaray, as well as a host of clubs from England, where Holland coach Bert van Marwijk was keen to see him go.

Elia told www.onsoranje.nl: "My agent did have contact with Arsenal, but it took too long. I had no contact with Arsene Wenger."

He added: "Wigan, Everton, Fulham and Newcastle had fairly concrete interest."

On the interest from Gala, he added: "Financially, it was a good option. I asked the coach what he thought of the idea of me playing in Turkey. He said I would be out of the view of the scouts.

"I value his opinion. The Dutch team is very important to me.

"That's partly why I chose Juventus, to get high-level play. He told me to go to England, but Italy was good too."

Elia revealed he would be following in the footsteps of some of his childhood heroes by playing for Juve.

"I used to have a Del Piero shirt," he said. "I was also a big fan of Fabrizio Ravanelli.

"It's great to play with a legend like Del Piero."