Cheikhou Kouyate has revealed that he had contact with Arsene Wenger during the summer before deciding to stay at Anderlecht.
Kouyate enjoyed a superb season with Anderlecht in the Belgian league last term and is looking forward to their upcoming UEFA Champions League campaign.
He says the prospect of a European adventure with the club where he is so adored by the supporters convinced him not to leave.
The Senegalese defender had been linked with a number of high-profile European clubs during the transfer window, and says he could have made the move to Emirates Stadium.
"The fans of Anderlecht asked me to stay for the club and they showed me their appreciation," Kouyate told the African press.
"Qualifying for the Champions League was also very important for me, because without that I think I should have been in London where I had a good contact with Arsene Wenger and Arsenal."