Arsene Wenger has revealed how he missed out on yet another huge star as a kid.
Arsene Wenger was revealed how he missed out on signing Manchester United attacker Angel di Maria on a free.
Di Maria went onto become a Champions League winner for Real Madrid, and is currently the most expensive player to sign for a Premier League team.
It's another huge name Wenger has admitted to missing out on. Here are the Galacticos the Frenchman nearly signed for Arsenal, only for the deals to fall flat. What a team they would have had!
Arsenal so nearly signed Cristiano Ronaldo, coming so close the Mirror reported comments from Arsene Wenger in 2013 that the Gunners had printed a shirt with his name and the number nine on the back. It turned out he preferred seven, with Wenger losing out on him to Manchester United back in 2003 at the last minute, with Red Devils assistant boss Carlos Queiroz's Sporting Lisbon connection proving the decisive factor. Ronaldo is the reigning back-to-back Ballon d'Or winner, and has won the Champions League with two different clubs, including Manchester United. Could he have tipped Arsenal past Barcelona in 2006?
The handling of Swedish superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic proved a huge own goal for Arsene Wenger. While he can point to red tape denying him the signing of Di Maria, it was his own insistence Zlatan take a trial which saw him miss out here. The Telegraph report Ibrahimovic recalling even sitting in Arsene Wenger's office, but he was so unimpressed with the trial offer, he decided not to undergo one, declaring he was too good. To be fair, he had a point. He is now a multiple league winner in different countries, and currently stars for PSG.
Arsene Wenger could have signed Gareth Bale along with Theo Walcott, admitting to The Mail he made a 'huge mistake' not doing a double deal with Southampton. Wenger decided against the move because Bale was developing as a left-back at the time, happy with Ashley Cole and Gael Clichy. Both players deserted Wenger's Arsenal to leave for rival teams, while Bale went onto sign for Tottenham, and is now the world's most expensive player, having blossomed into a dynamic winger.
This is arguably the most annoying of the lot for Arsenal fans. Yaya Toure played for the Gunners in a pre-season friendly, having had an option on him, and with his brother Kolo playing for them at the time. Inexplicably, he slipped through their grasp. Wenger described it as a regret two years ago, telling Arsenal.com however that Toure's own impatience led to him missing out, with Toure unwilling to wait for a work permit, deciding to move to Ukraine instead. He is now a multiple-time African Footballer of the Year, and seen as the most complete midfielder in the Premier League. At least Arsenal held onto Abou Diaby instead though...
Yes, unbelievably even Lionel Messi was on Arsenal's shortlist. Arsene Wenger told The BBC last year he tried to sign the four-time Ballon d'Or winner along with Cesc Fabregas. Messi, like Di Maria, would have required a work permit, while the star's comfort at Barcelona also led to his desire to stay. Messi went onto play a key role in knocking Arsenal out of two consecutive Champions League seasons, and is on course to be remembered as the greatest footballer of all time in the eyes of many.