By Will Butcher
Spain international Alvaro Arbeloa has revealed that he rejected moves to Italy and Spain during the summer, before signing for West Ham.
The 33-year-old signed a one-year deal at the London Stadium following his release by Champions League winners Real Madrid in June, after losing his right-back slot.
Speaking to Spanish radio station Cadena Cope, as quoted by ESPN, Arbeloa revealed that he was in advanced talks with AC Milan as well as clubs from his home country as he looked to find a home before the start of the season.
“The conversations with AC Milan were at an advanced stage but the Chinese takeover of the [Italian] club complicated the deal,” Arbeloa told Cadena Cope. “I took a decision not to continue with this option and fortunately, this offer [West Ham] came along.”
“It’s difficult to leave Real Madrid and choose another destination. It’s like leaving heaven and having to choose a place on earth.
“I wanted an option that convinced me in every way. I had offers from Spain but I didn’t want to wear any other shirt than that of Real Madrid in Spain so I opted to leave.”
The right-back has returned to the Premier League after spending two years with Liverpool, before joining Spanish giants Real Madrid in 2009 for £5million.
World Cup winner Arbeloa left Anfield just two appearances shy of a century of games for the Merseyside club, and has gone on to win two Champions League trophies and the La Liga with the Galacticos.
Arbeloa also revealed that manager Slaven Bilic and the West Ham fans helped him decide to sign for the Hammers.
“The choice of West Ham, the club, the city, the coach and the fans, felt good in every way and here I am. I’m very happy, I am where I want to be and I’m looking forward to playing.”
Arbeloa became West Ham’s 11th summer signing, joining the likes of Simone Zaza, Andre Ayew and Sofiane Feghouli.
In other West Ham news, this new signing could struggle to break into the first team at the London Stadium.