MIGUEL ALMIRON’S agent claims he rejected an offer to join Arsenal in January before signing for Newcastle in a club-record £20.7million deal.
The Gunners and Southampton both apparently failed in loan bids for the Paraguay playmaker, while Manchester United never followed up interest.
Toon’s wish for a permanent deal sealed Almiron’s move from Atlanta United.
Daniel Campos, who represents the 25-year-old, told radio station ABC Cardinal: “Miguel Almiron is a footballer who went from less to more, now he is a more complete footballer.
“There was interest shown by Manchester United in Miguel Almiron but they never made an offer.
“Arsenal and Southampton offered loan deals but we did not want it to be a loan.”
Arsenal boss Unai Emery was told he had no money to play with in January and signed just Denis Suarez on loan from Barcelona.
Funds will only be made available to the Spaniard in the summer.
Almiron, meanwhile, has shone for Newcastle in his three appearances this season.
Benitez praised the Magpies’ scouts for finding such a gem in the MLS.
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He said: “I have to give credit to our scouting department because we were watching him for a while, and the majority of the reports from the scouts said that this was a player we could sign.
“When you’re the manager and have people around you are working hard, saying ‘yes’, and then after you can see those players, it’s credit to everyone.
“I spoke with him after the [Huddersfield] game, I don’t think he was too disappointed not to score, he was happy for the team and for the win.
“He’s fitted in really well.
“You have a group of people speaking Spanish and playing games, they enjoyed themselves in the training camp in Murcia, playing table football and ping pong, so they were happy to be there.”