Arsene Wenger has revealed how Arsenal attempted to sign Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique as part of the same deal that landed the Gunners Cesc Fabragas.

By 90Min
May 17, 2018

Arsene Wenger has revealed how Arsenal attempted to sign Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique as part of the same deal that landed the Gunners Cesc Fabragas.

Fabregas moved from Barcelona to the north London club in the summer of 2003 and quickly made his mark on the first team, becoming the side's youngest ever player and goalscorer.

The Spain international went on to captain the Gunners, making 212 appearances before returning to Camp Nou.

However, Arsenal had originally planned to poach two other La Masia graduates alongside Fabregas. Speaking to Arsenal.com, Wenger revealed how close Arsenal were to signing Messi and Pique.

He said: “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 is hard not to wonder what the Arsenal trophy cabinet would hold had Wenger pulled of moves for Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique alongside Cesc Fabregas.

He added: “[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 Manchester 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.”

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