Outgoing Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed his biggest regret is that he never signed Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Portuguese eventually went on to join Manchester United, where he won three Premier League titles alongside Champions League and FA Cup triumphs, before a transfer to Real Madrid in 2009 for a world record fee.
“The obvious player I missed out on that comes to mind is Cristiano Ronaldo,” Wenger confessed to Arsenal.com
“He was here with his mother and we were very close. Then United came in and they had Carlos Queiroz at the time, who was their Coach. United played against Sporting and Ronaldo was outstanding, so they signed him.
“Could you imagine at the time what it would have been like to have Thierry Henry and Ronaldo together?…That would certainly have changed a little of the history of my stay here.”
Wenger said the Gunners were reluctant to match the Reds’ offer of around €14m for the Portugal international.
“There’s always something you could have done differently, but the problem with negotiations is to know when to give in and when not to.
“Once we reached around €5m, we were still negotiating, so we were very close. But Manchester United went to €14m, which at the time we were unable to afford,” he explained.