A former Arsenal scout Fransis Cagigao has confirmed that English Premier League outfit Arsenal were close to securing a deal for Barcelona star Lionel Messi when he was much younger.

He revealed that Lionel Messi was 15 years old when former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger discovered his prospect and wanted to bring him to the North London Outfit.

Francis Cagigao added that the Arsene Wenger made efforts to sign the likes of Gerald Pique, Juan Mata as well when they were younger with the Barcelona Academy team.

He revealed that the reason why the Gunners were unable to seal their signature because their work permit could not be sorted out.

The North London outfit were only able to secure the signature of Cesc Fabregas, Hector Bellerin, Gabriel Martinelli, and Robin Van Persie at their younger age.

This is a confirmation of what the French manager said in his autobiography when he claimed that he missed out on a number of star players, including Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

According to the legendary Arsenal boss, missing out on these players remains one of his greatest regrets on the job as a manager at Arsenal.

Some of the players have turned out to be World class players, especially with Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi leading the world of the round leather game for the past few years.


Timothy Aiyeku is a Mass Communication graduate from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. He is a sports, everything football analyst.