The 26-year-old made more than 100 league appearances for Marseille - scoring eight times - after joining from Paris Saint-Germain in 2005.
And although the Yugoslavia-born midfielder, who has won 36 caps for Albania, was linked with summer moves to the Gunners, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool, Everton and Manchester City, it was Black Cats' boss Steve Bruce who eventually snared the central midfielder.
Cana was instantly made captain at the Stadium of Light and - alongside Lee Cattermole - has played a major part in the club's impressive start to the season, coming seconds away from beating Manchester United at Old Trafford before sinking Liverpool last weekend.
And, according to the Sunderland Echo, Emirates Stadium supremo Wenger is still monitoring Cana's progress in the North East, and may attempt to bring him to London to add some steel to his midfield.
The Gunners' boss received criticism from his own fans for the first time in his 13-year tenure earlier this summer for not splashing the cash on several experienced heads to compliment his armoury of talented youngsters.
According to the report, Arsenal attempted to take Cana on trial 10 years ago. However, the midfielder was unable to leave Switzerland as he was a refugee from Kosovo.
"My father took us out of Kosovo to Switzerland when the war was just starting," he said.
"When you are political refugees you cannot move. You cannot leave Switzerland or the country where you are."
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Gregg Davies is the Chief Sub Editor of FourFourTwo magazine, joining the team in January 2008 and spending seven years working on the website. He supports non-league behemoths Hereford and commentates on Bulls matches for Radio Hereford FC. His passions include chocolate hobnobs and attempting to shoehorn Ronnie Radford into any office conversation.
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