The former French international midfielder has said how he was in discussions with Spurs over a move to White Hart Lane before he joined the Gunners from Monaco for £2.5m in 1997.
Petit said that he left his negotiations with Tottenham without having committed himself to a transfer because he had talks scheduled with their North London rivals later in the same day.
He told the Daily Mail: "Before I signed for Arsenal, I had been in discussions with Spurs. I held a meeting at Tottenham, but I decided not to tell them my answer because I knew I was seeing Arsenal afterwards.
"At the time, I did not know the rivalry between Spurs and the Gunners, and I realised afterwards that I had got in a taxi which had been paid for by Spurs to sign for Arsenal.
"It is like Marseille paying for a cab for a player then to sign for Paris Saint-Germain, but it wasn't my intention to hurt anybody."
Petit won the Premier League and FA Cup double during his three seasons at Arsenal, for whom he made 119 appearances and scored 11 goals.