Tottenham Hotspur transfer target pulled out of Arsenal deal in 2011

Miralem Pjanic is being strongly linked with Spurs again this summer; but he could be an Arsenal player in an alternative reality.

Tottenham Hotspur have been heavily linked with a move for AS Roma midfielder Miralem Pjanic for a lengthy period now and this summer is no different. The 23-year-old Roma player is again being rumoured with an exit from the Stadio Olimpico in 2013 as the current scenario at the Gialloriossi is not ideal.

Currently the club cannot seem to agree on a new manager. After firing Zdenek Zeman earlier in the campaign they have yet to replace him. Talks are ongoing with AC Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri while the latest twist will see former France and Bordeaux coach Laurent Blanc take the job imminently.

But none of this clears up the future of Pjanic.

There is no wonder why Spurs would want him. After missing out on Joao Moutinho the Bosnia-Herzegovina midfielder brings many similar qualities. Dynamic, mobile and equally bit as tenacious as he is creative he would slot perfectly into a 4-3-3 system Andre Villas Boas is reportedly looking to utilise next term.

The free-kick specialist may also provide competition for Gareth Bale in that department.

But it all could have been so different for the talented midfielder.

After growing up in Luxembourg, and first catching the eye at FC Metz, he moved to Lyon in 2008 and went on to be an impressive member of the side that reached the 2009 Champions League semi-final and was wanted by several of Europe’s top clubs; including Tottenham and their North London rivals Arsenal.

Not only was he wanted by The Gunners but, as he revealed this week, he even agreed to sign for the club.

Speaking to Bosnian publication Avaz Sport he had this to say on the matter: 

“I had a number of offers at the time and I was set to join Arsenal. I had agreed all of the conditions that had been put into place. However, my father had given his word to Roma and therefore I opted to sign for the Giallorossi instead.”

Indeed he did; signing a four-year deal worth €11 million in August of 2011 and now it will likely cost considerably more to pry him away from the Italian capital.

But it would be a great coup for Spurs to snap him up. He could genuinely be a star of the Premier League and at just 23 has plenty of time to become just that.

And it would be fantastic for bragging rights should Spurs rub Arsenal’s noses in another transfer near-miss.

Will Spurs get Pjanic this summer? Should Arsenal rekindle their interest?

images: © Damien Cansse

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