The midfielder was 23 at the time and had signed a pre-contract agreement with Arsenal.
But the move never materialised after it ran into work permit complications.
He did however end his six-year spell with Sao Paulo that summer and eventually joined French club Lyon.
Edmilson has revealed he signed a pre-contract agreement with Arsenal
The 2002 World Cup winner spent four seasons in Ligue 1 before he joined Barcelona, where he was part of the side that beat Arsenal in the 2006 Champions League final.
“I played for five-and-a-half years in Sao Paolo so moving was part of a whole process,” Edmilson told Sports Keeda.
"We won the Copa Libertadores and were world champions.
Arsenal's £200m summer wish list Wed, April 12, 2017
Express Sport brings you Arsenal's summer wish list
Play slideshow AFP/Getty Images 1 of 6
Alexandre Lacazette (Lyon)
“2000 was when I went to Europe, I already had an offer from Arsenal.
“A pre-contract was signed with them but I had some issues with my documentation so I did not go and instead I went to Lyon.
“They had a project and they were about to play for the first time in the Champions League.”
Get Quotes on Home Insurance