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‘Messi was tempted to go to Arsenal’ – Former agent reveals move almost happened alongside Fabregas
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22-Sep-2020, 03:49 pm

‘Messi was tempted to go to Arsenal’ – Former agent reveals move almost happened alongside Fabregas


Lionel Messi Barcelona

Lionel Messi was “tempted to go to Arsenal” back in 2003, claims the Barcelona star's former agent Fabian Soldini, with the Gunners expressing interest when luring Cesc Fabregas away from Catalunya.

Fabregas went on to spend eight years with the Gunners, becoming club captain along the way, before returning to his roots at Barca in 2011.

He was reunited with Messi when making that move, with the subsequent six-time Ballon d’Or winner having opted to stay put.

There was, however, a moment when a switch to England was considered, with Soldini revealing that the history of modern football could have been very different.

A man who managed the career of an emerging talent in his early days told Marca: “Messi was tempted to go toArsenal, but he didn't go.

“I remember the day that Cesc asked to leave. Messiwas also asked to go, but he didn't want to leave.”

Former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger missed out on a number of top talents during his iconic 22-year reign with the Gunners, with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic also slipping his net.

Messi was, however, never a realistic option as Barcelona had invested plenty of funds and faith in the South American by the time Premier League suitors came onto the scene.

Arsenal’s former head of global recruitment, Francis Cagigao, told Goalrecently: “We had identified Messi and we wouldn’t have been the only ones.

“I remember there were a couple of Italian clubs and obviously Spanish clubs who were very aware of Messi.

“But he couldn’t play national level because of the restriction on his status in the country at the time. He could only play regional games forBarcelona.

“So, yes, there were talks between myself and representatives, and we got a very good feeling that there was a possibility that the player would want to join us.

“But, once we’d delved into the situation and looked at it from a legal point of view, we very quickly saw that it actually couldn’t happen. It was impossible. So, that was discarded once we saw that.”


Source : goal.com

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