- Ex Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger has stated clearly that he wanted to sign Lionel Messi
- But the Frenchman claimed Barcelona and his agents refused to have any discussion with him
- Wenger has left Premier League side Arsenal after 22 years in charge of the Gunners
Frenchman Arsene Wenger has explained how he failed to sign Barcelona duo of Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique during his reign at Premier League side Arsenal.
The former Monaco boss tried to all his best to take Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique to Arsenal in 2003 when he signed Spaniard Cesc Fabregas, but the deal failed to work.
Although Gerard Pique later moved to the Premier League, but he joined Arsenal's bitter rivals Manchester United.
Neither Pique or Messi had broken into the Barca first team before Arsenal’s interest, but have both established themselves as key players at the Nou Camp.
"The story of Cesc Fabregas is that Franny Cagiago and Steve Rowley brought the player here and we had to convince him.
“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 United.
"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,'' Arsene Wenger was quoted to have told Arsenal website by Daily Star UK.
Earlier, NAIJ.com had reported how Arsene Wenger explained that his biggest transfer regret was not to have signed Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo when he was in charge of Arsenal.
Wenger was said to be among the top football managers that discovered the talent of Cristiano Ronaldo while he was playing in Portugal.
Super Eagles Score 1:1 with DR Congo Team Simba in Port Harcout. On NAIJ.com TV