SPAIN – Barcelona captain, Lionel Messi, was “tempted” by the prospect of joining Arsenal when his close friend, Cesc Fabregas, agreed to move to the North London club in 2013.
This claim was made by Messi’s former agent, Fabian Soldini.
Messi, Fabregas and Gerard Pique were part of a special generation of talent coming through Barcelona’s La Masia academy.
Former Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, had identified Messi, Fabregas and Pique as potential signings for the Gunners.
Fabregas joined Arsenal in July 2003, while Pique moved to Man United a year later.
However, Messi decided to stay at Camp Nou and make his debut as a 17-year-old in October 2004.
“[Messi] was tempted to go to Arsenal, but he didn’t go,” Soldini told Marca.
“I remember the day that Cesc asked to leave [Barcelona]. Messi was also asked to go, but he didn’t want to leave.”
Messi has scored 634 goals in 731 appearances for Barcelona.