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Agents messed up moves for Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique – Arsene Wenger

Arsene Wenger has revealed how he once tried to sign both Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique from Barcelona, however the moves were scuppered by the player’s agents.

The Frenchman made the shock admission when talking about the signing of Cesc Fabregas from the Catalans over a decade ago.

Fabregas joined the Gunners as a youngster in 2003, and quickly established himself as a first team regular, becoming the club’s youngest ever player and goalscorer in his first few months in North London.

The Spain international went on to captain the side, making 212 appearances before returning to Barcelona in 2011.
“The story of Cesc Fabregas is that Franny Cagiago and Steve Rowley brought the player here and we had to convince him,” he told Arsenal.com.

“I met Cesc’s parents and at the time we were interested in Messi and Pique as well. We tried for the three but of course it didn’t work out, but we got a gem there in Cesc and he is an exceptional player. A brain for football.”

Can Arsenal Lure Fabregas Back?
Asked why moves for both Messi and Pique didn’t work out, Wenger said he believe it was down to the player’s agents preventing them from moving to what was then Highbury.
“[It didn’t work out with Messi and Pique] because of the agents,” the now retired Frenchman said, “I think it was linked with Nike at the time and they wanted Pique to go to Man United. With Messi, Barcelona didn’t want to lose him of course and they made [the offer] that was needed to keep the player at the club.

“I don’t really know if Messi was interested… I couldn’t get close to try to force the deal because Barcelona stopped that possibility very early.”

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