Outstanding players Wenger almost signed: Messi, Cristiano, Pique and now Mbappe

Yet again, Arsene Wenger is claiming that he had signed, or almost signed, one of football’s current stars while he was at Arsenal.


The ex-Arsenal boss often has stories of how close he was to signing this player or that, and his latest tale is about Kylian Mbappe.

“I was at his home when he was undecided whether to extend his Monaco contract,” Wenger told beIN Sports.


“He could have come to Arsenal for free.”

In response to his latest comments, Sky Sports have recalled the other occasions when the coach spoke about possible signings that never came to be, and the list of players is long.

“We wanted Cesc Fabregas, [Gerard] Pique, and [Lionel] Messi, but in the end only one came,” Wenger had previously said. “It was a time when they all played together at Barcelona, but only Messi was comfortable there.

“We tried to get all three, but only one came. Mainly because of agents.”

That move for Messi could have seen hm play with a player who went on to be his great rival, Cristiano Ronaldo.

“He was here with his mother and we were very close,” Wenger said. “But Manchester United came along, who had Carlos Quieroz as their assistant.

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“They played against him and Sporting [CP]; Ronaldo shone and they signed him.”

Cristiano Ronaldo backed up the story, saying he was “one step away from going to Arsenal” and that he “appreciates what they did for him”.

Another near signing was Jamie Vardy. Wenger claims that he “offered him a lot of money, but Leicester didn’t want to lose him”.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is another, who famously told Wenger as a 17-year-old that he doesn’t do trials when asked by the Frenchman to take part in a training match prior to signing.

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