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Federico Valverde has made 12 appearances for Real Madrid in La Liga and the Champions League this season and it’s the first campaign in which the midfielder has featured regularly for Los Blancos since he arrived from Peñarol in 2016.
Prior to joining the 13-time European champions, the Uruguay international caught the attention of Arsenal as they invited him for a trial when he was a teenager.
This is according to Peñarol vice president Rodolfo Catino, who revealed that months after the trial, the Gunners travelled to South America to seal a deal for 21-year-old in, but the two clubs failed to find an agreement for the transfer.
Catino spoke about the north London club’s interest to Spanish newspaper AS, when they asked him which club came forward first for Valverde.
“Arsenal. He was invited to visit the facilities when he was 16 years old. We accepted, although we told him that he was not going to play because we were afraid of his injury. However, Arsenal insisted that he should play and we agreed to insurance of €6m in case of injury,” Catino said.
“A few months later they travelled to Montevideo to sign him, but their offer was very low and we did not reach an agreement.”
Catino also revealed Manchester United and Barcelona considered making an approach for the player.
“Also United and Barça. United withdrew quickly and Barcelona did not want to pay the price we asked for him, they did not approach that figure. They lost a great player for not making that economic effort,” he added.
Marca reported on Thursday that Real Madrid want to offer Valverde a new long-term contract following his impressive performances this season.