The Spanish shot-stopper says he was approached by both the Gunners and Athletic Club over a possible move earlier this year
Levante goalkeeper Aitor Fernandez has claimed that Arsenal showed an interest in his services during the summer transfer window.
Fernandez has carved out a reputation as one of the most consistent shot-stoppers in La Liga since joining Levante from Numancia in July 2018.
The 29-year-old has racked up 65 appearances for Paco Lopez’s side in total, helping them comfortably retain their status in the Spanish top flight.
Fernandez is contracted to remain at Estadi Ciutat de Valencia until 2023, but he was tipped to complete a move away from the club at the end of the 2019-20 campaign.
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The Spaniard has now revealed that both Arsenal and Athletic Club made plays for his signature before he ultimately decided to stay put due to the love and support he enjoys from Levante’s fanbase.
“The club transmitted calm and I wanted to stay. We looked at the fact I’d got the affection of the fans. It’s true there was contact with Athletic Bilbao and Arsenal,” Fernandez told AS.
“Quite a lot of clubs have asked and it’s true those two did ask. I feel I have lots of support at Levante.”
The Levante star went on to admit that going back to Athletic, the club where he began his career, still holds great appeal, but he is in no rush to bring his successful spell at Levante to a close.
“In the end, the club gave me that tranquility that they wanted me to stay here and I wanted to stay here,” Fernandez added. “With my partner, we value that having the love of a hobby is not easy.
“The truth is that my sporting growth was here. It is also true that I have said that throughout my career I would like to go home; but I think this is not the time, I think it is time to continue growing in Levante.”
Arsenal dipped into the summer market for a new goalkeeper after seeing Emiliano Martinez complete a £20 million ($27m) move to Aston Villa.
The Gunners may have failed to land Fernandez, but they were successful in signing Runar Alex Runarsson from Dijon, with the 25-year-old now serving as Bernd Leno’s number two at Emirates Stadium.