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How Alhaji Grusah scuppered Shilla Illiasu's dream Arsenal move

By Vincent Ashitey
Shilla Illiasu
Shilla Illiasu
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Shilla Illiasu has revealed how King Faisal bankroller Alhaji Grusah scuppered his dream move to Arsenal.

Illiasu has disclosed that he came close to signing for Arsenal and was keen on making the switch to the London based club.

Arsenal pursued a move for the ex-Ghana international after his fine showing at the 2006 World Cup in Germany. Then Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was bent on securing  Illiasu's signature and the deal looked realistic until King Faisal bankroller Alhaji Grusah scuppered the move due to his behaviour.

READ ALSO: Arsenal leave £43.5m offer ‘on the table’ for Atletico Madrid ace Thomas Partey

Illiasu later ended up at at Russian outfit Saturn FC.

“Arsene Wenger told me that he had monitored me against Czech Republic and believes that I’m one of the best defenders in Africa. He told me he wanted to sign me to Arsenal to help his team," Illiasu told Asempa FM.

“I started training with them and after the third training session, the agent called and confirmed Wenger was impressed and wanted to sign me.

“Later, the agent called and requested that I speak with Alhaji Grunsah because he was being stubborn.

“And that I should also engage Kotoko, Kwabena Kesse 'Kessben' was then the CEO.

“I remember I spoke to him and Mr Kesse told me they were still in talks with Arsenal and assured me my future remained the central focus."

“It was later that I realised that Alhaji was the biggest problem. He personally wrote a letter to Arsenal telling them that I was his bonafide property," the defender added.

“So the agent asked [about] what Alhaji [was] saying. The agent asked me that 'can’t you talk to Alhaji?' Because he is trying to bring problem.

"Alhaji wrote to Arsenal that I was his bonafide property and that time too I was a Kotoko player.

“What I know is that Alhaji had a percentage, my transfer from King Faisal to Kotoko wasn’t an outright deal so Alhaji had a percentage [stake] in me," added

“So when the Arsenal deal was to go through, Kotoko told Alhaji he was getting close to nothing from the deal and Alhaji also did his things."

“These are some of the things I feel sad to remember. Its not easy, I remember shedding tears over this in a radio interview sometime back," he concluded.

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