Lionel Messi’s former agent has said the superstar was tempted to join Arsenal in 2003 when Arsene Wenger was at the height of his power at the club.
Lionel Messi is no longer a Barcelona player and, next season, all signs point to him signing for PSG and Mauricio Pochettino.
How different things could have been had the Argentine been a little more tempted by Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal in 2003, just before they embarked on their historic Invincibles season…
“[Messi] was tempted to go to Arsenal, but he didn’t go,” Messi’s former agent, Fabian Soldini told Spanish outlet Marca. “I remember the day that Cesc (Fabregas) asked to leave.
“I remember the day that Cesc (Fabregas) asked to leave (Barcelona). Messi was also asked to go, but he didn’t want to leave.”
This all fits with what Wenger himself said last year when he spoke about being in negotiations with Messi.
Speaking to beIN SPORTS in September, Arsene Wenger explained that discussions took place about signing Messi, but it just wasn’t possible to convince Barcelona to sell their prize asset.
“We were in discussions with him when we bought [Cesc] Fabregas because Messi played [with him],” Wenger said (via TeamTalk).
“You can realise sometimes what fantastic youth teams you had before when you’re a club like Barcelona. In the same team, Messi, [Gerard] Pique and Fabregas.
“Pique and Fabregas came to England [with Manchester United and Arsenal respectively], Messi stayed in Spain. We were interested in him, but he was untouchable at the time.”
You have to imagine that a large number of clubs tried and failed to make a dent in Barcelona’s resolve to hold onto arguably the greatest player of all time.
In total, Messi scored nine goals, with two assists, in six games against Arsenal