Arsenal tried to sign Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique at the same time as Fabregas

Arsenal could've been the Harlem Globetrotters of football if they'd signed half of the players they'd been linked with down the years.

And it has now emerged that the Gunners tried to lure none other than Gerard Pique and Lionel Messi (obviously) to north London at the same time they snared Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona. Indeed, former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has revealed that the club even contacted the Catalan giants to enquire about the pair's availability.

Wenger made the revelation during an appearance on 'Against The Odds – Cesc Fabregas: Pass Master,' which airs on ITV4 this week and details the Spaniard's time at Arsenal, Barcelona, Chelsea and Monaco.

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"To be honest when signing Cesc, we also contacted Messi and Pique," Wenger told the programme. "Pique in the end decided to go to Man United, Fabregas decided to join us, and Barcelona kept Messi of course! That’s how it happened."

Fabregas joined Arsenal from Barcelona in September 2003 at the age of 16 and made his Gunners debut a little over a month later in a League Cup tie against Rotherham United.

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He went on to make 303 appearances for the north Londoners, helping them to win the 2005 FA Cup and finish runners-up in the 2006 Champions League before returning to Barca in 2012.

The 35-year-old never achieved what he should have done at the Emirates, largely down to the fact the club's successful team of the early-2000s began to break up as he reached his peak.

Things may have turned out differently had Wenger managed to lure a youthful Messi to north London, but we all know how that one ended up. Messi, along with Pique, enjoyed the best years of their career at Barcelona, with Pique rejoining the club after a brief stint with Manchester United.

Against The Odds – Cesc Fabregas: Pass Master, ITV4, 9pm August 3rd

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