Arsene Wenger reportedly came close to signing Lionel Messi from Barcelona when the now four-time Ballon D’or winner was just 16. Arsenal obviously profited greatly from raiding La Masia for Cesc Fabregas but Messi and Gerard Piqué were also on Wenger’s wishlist.
With the promise of increased chances at first team level, Wenger was able to persuade Fabregas to switch Barcelona for North London but The Mail is reporting that Messi was also open to the move.
Issues over getting a work permit for the 16-year-old Messi made the move highly problematic and three years later, Messi became a Spanish citizen.
Since the failed attempt to sign Messi, Arsenal have won three trophies while Messi has captured 13 major titles and been named World Player of the Year four times.