Arsene Wènger: ‘One of my biggest regrets is missing out on signing Lionel Messi’

Former Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger confirmed he missed out on working with Lionel Messi whilst at Arsenal, says Marca.

The Frenchman, who spent 22 years at the North London side, says it is one of his biggest regrets not to have got the deal over the line to bring the Argentine star to the Premier League.

In a wide ranging interview with BeIN Sports, the 69-year-old, who took charge of 1,235 games with the Gunners, securing 707 victories and achieving a 57.2% win ratio during his time in England, was at pains to state how unfortunate the missed opportunity was of signing the talented forward:

"In life, one must live with regrets and failed pieces of business, and one of those was Messi.

"In 2003, we signed Cesc Fabregas and we held conversations with Lionel Messi whilst he was part of Barcelona's youth setup and yet to emerge as a star we see today.

"This was at the time when Arsenal were a similar size to Barcelona and, as part of our transfer strategy, we wanted to recruit young talent to form a strong and youthful side."

Times have changed however, as the former Arsenal boss pointed out: "With Messi, Piqué and Fàbregas, who were progressing well in those formative moments, we could have had a great team.

"Piqué and Fábregas came to England but Messi stayed in Spain.

"It's true that we were interested in signing him (Messi) but even back then, he was an untouchable talent, far out of Arsenal's reach."

Tags Arsene Wenger Lionel Messi