Kieran Gibbs admits £5m West Brom move nearly never happened amid interest from Premier League rivals

Tony Pulis, Manager of West Bromwich Albion looks on prior to the Premier League match between Brighton and Hove Albion and West Bromwich Albion at Amex Stadium on September 9, 2017 in...

Kieran Gibbs joined West Bromwich Albion for £5 million in the summer despite Arsenal agreeing a fee with Premier League rivals Watford.

Kieran Gibbs of West Brom in action during the Premier League match between Arsenal and West Bromwich Albion at Emirates Stadium on September 25, 2017 in London, England.

Kieran Gibbs has suggested that he appeared set to be on his way to Watford before he ended up making a £5 million move to West Brom, and disclosed his first reaction to hearing of the Baggies' interest, the Birmingham Mail reports.

Gibbs is a highly-talented left-back, but struggled for fitness with Arsenal and was often kept out of the side by Nacho Monreal during the latter stages of his time with the Emirates.

Anthony Knockaert of Brighton and Hove Albion attempts to catch Kieran Gibbs of West Bromwich Albion during the Premier League match between Brighton and Hove Albion and West Bromwich...

From the outside, a summer move always seemed likely. And while he ended up at The Hawthorns, he admitted that the Hornets agreed a fee with Arsenal for him, and decided that a Baggies switch was the right one for him after being talked out of a move to Vicarage Road.

“I think a fee had been agreed,” he said, as reported by the Birmingham Mail. “Over the next couple of days, if there hadn’t been any issues, it looked likely I would have signed for them.

“I’m still not quite sure what really happened. My agent just came to me and said there were a few things not quite right.

Kieran Gibbs of West Bromwich Albion is challenged by Winston Reid of West Ham United and Cheikhou Kouyate of West Ham United during the Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion...

“'How do you feel about West Brom and Tony Pulis?'

“I was interested and just weighed up a few things with friends and family. I thought at the time that this move would be right for me."

Tony Pulis will undoubtedly be delighted that Gibbs ended up making the move to the Midlands as the early signs suggest that he could go on to become a bargain signing for the Baggies.

And the 28-year-old put any doubt that he may be disappointed about missing out on a move to Watford to bed by putting in arguably his best display for West Brom so far when Marco Silva's men visited at the weekend.

And Pulis will be hoping that his progress is a sign of things to come and he will continue to become more and more influential as the season goes on.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch