Montpellier captain Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa claims he snubbed a summer approach from Arsenal because he wanted to move to AC Milan.
The defender was reported to have been the subject of a €6million (£4.75m) bid from Italian giants Milan and he had set his heart on a move to Italy.
Arsenal's supposed enquiry to Yanga-Mbiwa, who was also linked with Newcastle United after leading Montpellier to the French title, was therefore unsuccessful.
But the centre-back's exit to Milan was also blocked by long-standing Montpellier chairman Louis Nicollin despite an apparent understanding over a potential departure.
Yanga-Mbiwa, who could now extend his Montpellier contract, said in L'Equipe: "The chairman told me I have an agreement to leave.
"AC Milan came for me. But the chairman refused the offer. So I understood it would be difficult.
"Arsenal came to make an attempt. But I was focused on something else. I was disappointed when I understood it could not be sorted out with Milan.
"The chairman is our boss, our godfather, the one who educated us and gave us an opportunity. We have to show respect."