Former Chelsea and Newcastle United striker Demba Ba has confirmed that he arrived at Arsenal for his medical only for Jose Mourinho to block the move. Furthermore, he also revealed that he wanted to join the Gunners.
The Senegalese forward had moved to Chelsea in January 2013 and scored two goals in 14 outings for the Blues in his first half-season at the club.
Arsenal tried to seal a loan move for Ba in the final days of the summer window that year, but Mourinho didn’t want to let the forward move to a direct rival after the Gunners completed a deal for Mesut Ozil.
And Ba, who’s now playing for Shanghai Shenhua in China, has indicated that he’s still disappointed the Portuguese coach blocked his move across London.
Speaking to France Football, the 30-year-old said: “I think back to the day when Jose Mourinho blocked my Chelsea loan to Arsenal. It was the time of his return to the club, and I think it would have been a very good move. It happened on the last day of the transfer window.
“I was in Paris, at rest, and Arsenal representatives called me to tell me it was going to happen. I then came back to London for the medical. Upon arriving, I was left surprised that Mr Mourinho had blocked my move to Arsenal. Mesut Ozil arrived, and to strengthen a competitor like Arsenal was very complicated if it worked.”
Ba originally moved to the Premier League with West Ham United, but after the Hammers suffered relegation in 2011 the forward moved to Newcastle, making his name in England.
The forward’s spell at Chelsea ended up lasting just 18 months, as Ba transferred to Turkish side Besiktas in 2014 before his move to China last year.
Had Arsenal been able to sign Ba, the 2013-14 campaign may have gone differently for them, as they finished third that season.