Zlatan Ibrahimovic claims he turned down a move to Arsenal because boss Arsene Wenger insisted he had to have a trial first.
The 30-year-old Sweden international striker looked set to join the Gunners back in 2000 when he was a raw teenager and claims Wenger went as far as handing him a shirt and squad number at the club.
However, Ibrahimovic, who helped his current club AC Milan destroy the north Londoners 4-0 in their Champions League last-16 first leg at the San Siro, claims he was unhappy to be asked to go through a trial before he was signed and departed for pastures new.
He ultimately joined Ajax in Holland before enjoying further success in spells at Juventus, Inter, Barcelona and now Milan.
Ibrahimovic told The Sun: "Arsene gave me the famous red and white jersey - the number nine shirt with Ibrahimovic on it and I was so pleased I even posed for a picture wearing it.
"It was a fantastic moment for me. Arsenal had a great team then and here was an Arsenal shirt made just for me.
"So then I waited for him to convince me that I should join Arsenal. But he didn't even try.
"He never actually made me a serious offer, it was more, 'I want to see how good you are, what kind of player you are. Have a trial'.
"I couldn't believe it. I was like, 'No way, Zlatan doesn't do auditions'.
"I thought 'You either know me or you don't and if you don't know me you can't really want me'."