Guardiola convinced £9.5m Arsenal target to reject Wenger in 2011

Pep Guardiola

When Arsenal tried to sign Jon Toral, Hector Bellerin and Sergi Samper they only got the former pair.

Arsenal are already believed to be planning some of their January business, with a player dubbed the 'next Busquets' reportedly on their radar - and not for the first time.

Sergi Samper is considered one of Barcelona's hottest prospects after an excellent campaign with the 'B' team last term and is now set to launch an assault on the Barca first-team. In fact, he put in a man-of-the-match performance against APOEL Nicosia in the Champions League this week - his Barcelona debut.

He has a release clause in his contract of around £9.5 million and should he not get regular football with the Barca first-team before January, he might be tempted to make the move.

Arsenal have of course tried before to sign Sergi. In 2011 they attempted to bring him in along with former team-mates Hector Bellerin and Jon Toral, but he remained a Barca player.

Now it is being reported that Pep Guardiola personally convinced Samper that Arsenal was not the place for him, despite watching Toral and Bellerin head to North London.

He, Toral and Bellerin reportedly met with Arsenal delegates in Barcelona according to a report in FC Barcelona friendly paper Mundo Deportivo in Spain.

But despite watching his two friends leave for Arsenal Samper and his family rejected the Arsenal move - after Guardiola convinced Sergi that he was a future star for the club.

Now, three years on, Guardiola's premonition is coming true and Arsenal are not likely to lure this talent away from his beloved club any time soon.

But that might be a different story should Guardiola and Bayern Munich come knocking.

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