Arsene Wenger has revealed just how close Arsenal came to signing Lionel Messi from Barcelona in 2003.
The Gunners brought Cesc Fabregas over from the Catalan capital the same year and Wenger regrets not persisting with a deal to sign Messi too.
“You have to live with regrets in life, you know,” Wenger told beIN Sports.
“There’s only unachieved business in life and this is a big part of it.
“We were in discussions with [Messi] when we bought Fabregas because Messi played [with him].
“You can realize sometimes what fantastic youth teams you used to have when you’re a club like Barcelona,” he mentioned. “In the same team, Messi, [Gerard] Pique and Fabregas.”
The former Arsenal boss added, “Pique and Fabregas came to England, Messi stayed in Spain…I can confirm that we were interested in signing him, but he was untouchable at that time.”