REAL MADRID midfielder Federico Valverde has revealed he once had a trial with Arsenal – but the Gunners decided against signing him.
Valverde, 25, joined Los Blancos from Uruguayan side Penarol in 2016.
However, prior to his move to the Santiago Bernabeu, he took part in a week-long trial with Arsenal.
Then-manager Arsene Wenger decided against signing him, so Real Madrid swooped in to complete a deal.
And the midfielder has since become one of the most sought-after stars in Europe.
Speaking about his brief spell at Arsenal ahead of Uruguay's World Cup qualifier against Chile earlier this week, Valverde admitted that he will "always be grateful" for the way he was treated by ex-Gunner Alexis Sanchez.
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He said: "I have always been grateful to him. When I went to train at Arsenal, Alexis was there and he was one of the few who came up to help me.
"I will always be grateful to him because, being a nobody, I was well received by him. He was there to help me when I was a kid.
"As a footballer he is an incredible player."
Valverde is now a regular starter for Real Madrid having made 208 first team appearances in seven years.
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He also has two La Liga titles and a Champions League title to his name.
Liverpool attempted to sign the midfielder earlier this summer, but Real Madrid instantly knocked back a £51million bid.
He is now valued at £100m by Transfermarkt.
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