Samir Nasri arrived in England for the first time when Arsenal signed him from Marseille in 2008.

The winger spent three years at the north London club under Arsène Wenger’s orders before moving to Manchester City in 2011. Prior to joining Arsenal, the Ligue 1 side’s rivals, Lyon, tried to tempt him.

Nasri, who announced his retirement from football in 2021, has appeared as a guest on ‘Zack En Roue Libre’, and his quotes are relayed by Foot Mercato.

In his last season at Marseille, the former France international managed eight goals and 15 assists from 42 matches. This convinced Lyon to take him away from the Ligue 1 side, a year after they failed to sign Franck Ribéry from Marseille.

“They do that with Franck [Ribéry]. The following year, they came to see me in Cassis, at the time with Jean-Pierre Bernès. There was Bernard Lacombe and Rémi Garde. We discussed carefully, they made a better contract offer than Arsenal. But I couldn’t go to Lyon,” he said.

“I’m from Marseille, I couldn’t. I give the agreement to Arsenal and there is President Aulas who calls me and makes another offer. When I looked at him, I was like ‘oh’. But no, I went to Arsenal.”

Nasri made 125 appearances in all competitions in his three-year spell at the Emirates, during which he scored 27 goals and registered 15 assists. He made it to the EFL Cup final during the 2010/11 season with Arsenal, which they lost to Birmingham City.