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Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic has revealed that he rejected the opportunity to join both Arsenal and Tottenham before eventually signing for the Italian champions. The Bosnian playmaker takes on one of his former suitors, Spurs, in the last 16 of the Champions League on Tuesday evening, with the first leg being played at the Allianz Stadium. However, in different circumstances he could have been playing against Juventus, with Spurs having tried to sign him while he was still at Roma as a replacement for Luka Modric.
Several years earlier, while he was still pulling the strings in the Lyon midfield, Arsenal had also made an approach, though the 27-year-old rejected both advances from the north London clubs. Asked which Premier League sides he turned down in an interview with the Telegraph, Pjanic confirmed: ‘You want to know the names? They were Arsenal and Tottenham.’
On Spurs’ approach, he continued: ‘There was the opportunity but at that moment I told them I was happy where I was and that’s why we didn’t sign the deal. ‘But I made my choice using my head and if I made that choice not to go to an English team it was for good reasons.’
Juventus are currently on an 11-game winning run in all competitions, and have not suffered defeat since losing to Sampdoria in November, though Pjanic is still wary of Tottenham’s threat. He added: ‘We are very competitive, very hungry and we definitely want to win it [the Champions League]. But Tottenham are a great team.’