Sacked Arsenal scout Francis Cagigao has revealed how close the club was to the signing of Barcelona legends Gerard Pique and Lionel Messi.
Cagigao was speaking with European football expert Guillem Balague on his Youtube channel.
The Arsenal scout spent almost 24 years on the Gunners payroll before he was sacked by the club alongside 54 others as part of the financial effects of the Coronavirus Pandemic on the club.
Francis Cagigao was responsible for spotting talents like current Arsenal vice-captain Hector Bellerin and Cesc Fabregas.
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The majority of the Arsenal scout’s time at the club came under legendary manager Arsene Wenger and he has been credited with the signing of Fabregas in 2003.
According to him, Arsenal wanted to sign Lionel Messi after sealing the Fabregas transfer but they ran into problems because of his work permit which was also an issue in Spain during that period.
On Pique, he said that the retired Spanish international centre back would have been an Arsenal player if not for the contract disagreement between the club and his representatives. Pique would go on to join Manchester United six months later.
Pique eventually returned to Spain and Barcelona after just one year at Manchester United. He has won several trophies for Barcelona spanning over a decade.