“You have this kind of stories everywhere.”
Arsene Wenger has revealed how he once failed to sign Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique for Arsenal when he was the manager of the club.
Wenger explained that the Gunners had attempted to sign the trio of Cesc Fabregas, Messi and Pique from Barcelona but in the end, only Fabregas ended up arriving at the Emirates.
Messi and Pique.
Both Messi and Pique emerged through Barcelona’s famous La Masia youth academy. Both players have gone on to forge incredible careers for club and country in the decades since their debuts.
Messi made his debut for Barcelona’s first team back in November 2003 against Porto in the Champions League.
The Argentine forward has since established himself as one of the greatest players ever to have featured in the sport. He has scored over 700 goals and has won 36 trophies in his career so far.
Pique, meanwhile, made his senior debut for Manchester United in 2004. The Spaniard lasted four years at Old Trafford before returning to his boyhood club Barcelona in 2008.
It was with the Blaugrana that Pique made a name for himself as one of the world’s best defenders. The World Cup winner went on to win two trebles and eight league titles in Catalonia.
However, things might have turned out to be quite different for Messi and Pique had Wenger managed to secure their services for Arsenal early in their careers.
Wenger on signing Pique and Messi.
Wenger appeared on BeIN Sports on Wednesday night and revealed how Arsenal had once planned an ambitious signing of three talented Barcelona players.
“We wanted to make (the) trio (of) Fabregas, Pique and Messi (our signings),” the Frenchman revealed.
“And at the time, it was the ’87 generation, they played all together.
“Pique played (in) midfield at the time and, in the end, he decided for Man United, Fabregas joined us and (with) Messi, Barcelona was clever enough to keep him.”
Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappé and a audacious plan to bring the trio of Leo Messi, Cesc Fabregas and Gerard Piqué to Arsenal 😱
— beIN SPORTS (@beINSPORTS_EN) February 17, 2021
Wenger on Mbappe.
Wenger also revealed that Arsenal could’ve signed Kylian Mbappe for free several years ago.
“We speak about Mbappe,” the 71-year-old continued.
“I was at his home when he was undecided to extend his contract with Monaco, he could’ve come to Arsenal for free!
“But, I would say every club is full of histories like that. You go to (AC) Milan, to Manchester (United), to Arsenal, to Chelsea, you have this kind of stories everywhere.”