The former manager of Arsenal, Arsene Wenger has confirmed that the North London club almost signed Kylian Mbappe, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Lionel Messi during his era.
The French tactician coached Arsenal between 1996 and 2018. During his time at the club, he was known for signing some talented youngsters across the world and groomed them to the peak of their careers at Arsenal. Afterward, he transferred some of the stars to other major clubs across Europe for huge transfer fees.
Arsene Wenger failed in his attempt to sign Cristiano Ronaldo
For long, the report has been that Arsene Wenger attempted to sign Cristiano Ronaldo but the Portuguese football icon joined Manchester United instead. The 35-year-old Portuguese star went on to become the greatest football star in the history of the game.
After playing at Manchester United, Ronaldo joined Real Madrid, and then Juventus. He has won 5 Ballon d’Or so far in his football career.
“He [Ronaldo] was very close to joining us,” Wenger added. ” The bad luck for us was that Carlos Queiroz joined Man Utd [as assistant manager] and in a week he persuaded [Sir Alex] Ferguson to buy Ronaldo. He was quite a good buy at the time.
Arsene Wenger failed in his attempt to sign Lionel Messi
Arsene Wenger also attempted to sign Lionel Messi alongside Cesc Fabregas and Gerard Pique from Barcelona. But the French coach only succeeded in signing Pique and Fabregas.
Messi remained at Barcelona and became the greatest player to ever play for the Spanish giants. He has currently won a record 6 Ballon d’Or so far in his football career.
“We wanted to make the trio of Messi, Cesc Fabregas, and Gerard Pique”, Wenger told beIN Sports. “They are a 1987 generation who played all together. Pique played in midfield at the time and in the end, he decided to go to Man Utd, Fabregas joined us and Barcelona were clever enough to keep Messi.”
Wenger also failed in his attempt to sign Kylian Mbappe
In the same vein, Arsene Wenger said he almost signed Kylian Mbappe for free when the 22-year-old French striker was playing for Monaco. But the Frenchman decided to join Paris Saint Germain where he has become one of the brightest football stars in the world.
On Tuesday, February 16, Mbappe stormed Nou Camp with PSG to play Barcelona in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League round of 16. The football star scored three goals in PSG’s 4-1 victory over the Spanish giants.
“We can talk about Mbappe, I was at his home when he was undecided whether to extend his contract with Monaco,” Wenger said. “He could have come to Arsenal for free. I would say every club is full of histories like that.
“You go to Milan, to Manchester, Arsenal, Chelsea there are this kind of stories everywhere.”