Arsene Wenger says Arsenal had an agreement in place with Luis Suarez about a transfer from Liverpool and is "convinced" the striker wanted to join the Gunners.
Arsenal launched a now-infamous bid of £40 million-plus-one-pound for Suarez in 2013 in an attempt to trigger his release clause at Liverpool -- a move that was met with derision from Reds owner John Henry.
Liverpool refused to sell and the Uruguay international moved to Barcelona in a £75m deal a year later.
Wenger shed some light on the attempted transfer in an interview with beIN SPORTS, saying Arsenal had acted in good faith.
"It was very close, we had an agreement with the player," Wenger said. "We had been wrongly advised that he had a clause, you know, with a minimum [price]. But we had an agreement with the player. You can ask him.
"I'm convinced that he wanted to join us. And then they kept him for one more year, they improved his contract and promised to sell him a year later to a club abroad."
At the time, Suarez was one of the most controversial players in football after biting opponents in separate incidents and serving a ban after being found guilty of racially abusing then-Manchester United defender Patrice Evra.
But Wenger said the striker has cleaned up his act since his move to Barca.
"He had some behaviours that were shocking, but you don't see them anymore since two or three years," Wenger said. "He got rid of all the things that were a handicap for him. And today you don't see that anymore.
"He is still on the borderline with what a striker does well, like go down in the penalty box. But you want that from an intelligent striker, to provoke. But I think he got rid of all the rest."