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Arsene Wenger details missing out on Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique for Arsenal

Arsene Wenger talks about how he failed to make it to Lionel Messi AND Gerard Pique when he took Cesc Fabregas away from Barcelona academy – and they are part of a HUGE list of future stars he failed to land…including Ronaldo and Zlatan!

  • Arsene Wenger says he approached Barcelona for Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique
  • Wenger’s interest arose when he sealed the signing of Cesc Fabregas in 2003
  • Wenger made the claim on this week’s ITV 4 program on Cesc Fabregas
  • Messi and Pique join an ever-growing list of stars who have slipped through the net

It has been a long-standing theme that Arsenal have been associated with a large number of top players – without signing them.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Kylian Mbappe are at the forefront of superstars who have slipped through the net over the years as Arsenal fans kept thinking about what could have been.

Other star names close to a switch to the Gunners include Gareth Bale, Harry Kane, Samuel Eto’o, Didier Drogba, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Brazilian legend Roberto Carlos.

Arsene Wenger revealed Arsenal inquired about Messi and Pique . availability in 2003

Arsene Wenger revealed Arsenal inquired about Messi and Pique . availability in 2003

Messi could have lined up next to Fabregas in the Emirates if Wenger had had his way

Pique got courted by Arsenal but ended up at Old Trafford before returning to Nou Camp

Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique could have lined up at the Emirates if Wenger had had his way

Now Arsene Wenger has opened up to the previously failed attempts of Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique.

Arsenal had located the then Barcelona pair at the same time as they lured Cesc Fabregas to north London, with the Frenchman admitting they had contacted the Catalan club to inquire about the duo’s availability.

Wenger made the confession during an appearance in ‘Against The Odds – Cesc Fabregas: Pass Master’.

Zlatan Ibrahimović was offered a trial period at Arsenal but told the Gunners he 'didn't audition'

Zlatan Ibrahimović was offered a trial period at Arsenal but told the Gunners he ‘didn’t audition’

Eto'o had the chance to join Arsenal as a teenager, but eventually moved to Nou Camp

Eto’o had the chance to join Arsenal as a teenager, but eventually moved to Nou Camp

The who’s who of Arsenal’s missed transfer targets

Cristiano Ronaldo

Lionel Messi

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Kylian Mbappe

Angel Di Maria

Gareth Bale

Yaya Toure

Geoffroy Kondogbia

Gerard Pique

Vincent Kompany

Didier Drogba

Samuel Eto’o

Roberto Carlos

Harry Kane

Ruud van Nistelrooy

Michael Essien

The program airs this week on ITV4 and promises to reveal some behind-the-scenes footage of Fabregas’ illustrious career.

“To be fair, when we signed Cesc, we also contacted Messi and Pique,” Wenger revealed. “In the end Pique decided to go to Man United, Fabregas decided to join us and Barcelona kept Messi of course! That’s how it happened.’

A relatively unknown Fabregas left Catalonia for north London in September 2003 when he was just 16, but he impressed the Gunners early on.

Fabregas became a household name in the Gunners’ midfield, playing 303 games for the club, winning an FA Cup winner in 2005.

He was part of the Arsenal squad that lost in the 2006 Champions League final to Barcelona in Paris, before finally returning to Nou Camp in 2012.

The Spaniard finally got his moment in the sun with Messi and Pique while the Catalan giants enjoyed success under Pep Guardiola, but his time there was cut short and he moved back to London to join Chelsea.

Despite winning the 2010 World Cup and two European Championships on either side of Spain’s success in South Africa, Fabregas was unable to take the Champions League trophy.

Fabregas is now 35 and this summer he left Monaco after a spell of injuries in the principality and this week signed for Italy’s Como, where former Chelsea legend Dennis Wise is the club’s CEO.

Fabregas got his wish to play with Messi and Pique when he returned to Barcelona in 2011

Fabregas got his wish to play with Messi and Pique when he returned to Barcelona in 2011



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