Wenger Explains How Close Arsenal Came To Signing Messi
Arsene Wenger Explains How Close Arsenal Came To Signing Lionel Messi
Outgoing Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has revealed how close the Gunners were to signing Argentine superstar Lionel Messi from FC Barcelona years ago.
The Frenchman is set to officially leave Arsenal after 22 years in charge once his contract runs out in June, and he has recently been talking a lot about his long reign as manager.
Wenger recently gave some insight into the luring of Cesc Fabregas from the Catalan giants in 2003, and also explained he was after defender Gerard Pique and Messi.
"The story of Cesc Fabregas is that Franny Cagiago and Steve Rowley brought the player here and we had to convince him," he said, according to Daily Star.
"I met Cesc’s parents and at the time we were interested in Messi and Pique as well.
"We tried for the three but of course it didn’t work out, but we got a gem there in Cesc and he is an exceptional player. A brain for football.
"(It didn’t work out with Messi and Pique) because of the agents.
“I think it was linked with Nike at the time and they wanted Pique to go to Man Utd.
"With Messi, Barcelona didn’t want to lose him of course and they made [the offer] that was needed to keep the player at the club.
"I don’t really know if Messi was interested… I couldn’t get close to try to force the deal because Barcelona stopped that possibility very early."
Messi was also pursued by Italian side Inter Milan when he was younger, but decided against leaving the Blaugrana.
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