Almunia: I was ready to quit Arsenal

Manuel Almunia admits he was ready to quit Arsenal this summer.

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Almunia, 30, who kept his second consecutive clean sheet last night against Sparta Prague, said: "Two weeks ago I was thinking about leaving. It's very frustrating when you have the role of the second goalkeeper, or you are the cup goalkeeper.

"Now, though, I have the possibility of a few more games and I am much more happy. My life is different now. In one day, everything changes."

Almunia explained that he had a heart-to-heart with Arsene Wenger at the end of last season and decided to stay on and fight for the No1 jersey.

He added: "In the summer I said no to a few teams from Spain but when the season started and I wasn't playing, I was thinking of leaving.

"Three years without playing is very frustrating. It's hard when you just look for when the next cup game is. Every morning I woke up and thought, 'I won't play until September'.

"I have spent a long time waiting for my chance. I want to play and one solution was to return to Spain.

"The teams interested in me are medium-sized but I would have been playing. So I thought I would be happier than I was here. Now, though, everything has changed."

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