1. Petr Cech (GK)
In 2002 Cech appeared to be sure to join Arsenal from Sparta Prague, with both personal terms and fee rumoured to be agreed. But “work permit issues” caused major issues , and subsequently Wenger decided Cech was not worthy of all the hardwork.
Cech then joined Rennes for a brief period before signing for Chelsea, where he won every major trophy and becoming a true blue club legend.
2. Vincent Kompany (RB)
Vincent Kompany’s agent Jacques Lichtenstein confirmed that Wenger was very interested in signing his client as a replacement for the ageing Sol Campbell in 2006.
Kompany was heavily scouted by Arsenal had followed Kompany for some time, Jacques claimed he had a meeting with Wenger before in the long run choosing he ought to leave Anderlecht for Hamburg. The guarantee of first team football at the age 22 became the deciding factor.
3. Gerard Pique (CB)
Arsene Wenger has himself stated that he wanted to sign Pique when he was just 15 years old and playing at the La Masia.
Pique was also invited to visit Arsenal’s trainning facility, but the 15 year old future Barcelona superstar opted to sign for Manchester United instead.
4. Claude Makelele (LB)
In 1996, right after signing Patrick Vieira for Arsenal, Wenger recieved a call from Nantes enquiring whether Wenger would be interested in the services of a young and promising Makelele.
Both the parties held meetings and Wenger claimed in 2006 that he was very close to signing Makelele, but thought that Viera alone was sufficient for the team.
5. Paul Pogba (DM)
The Juventus star was on Wenger’s radar when his United contract was up in 2012.
Arsene tried to sign the Frenchmen but was beaten by Juventus and considering how big a star Pogba has become and his worth it would have been a magnificent signing for Arsenal.
6. Xabi Alonso (MC)
Wenger offered £14million for the Spanish star in 2008 when he was playing at Anfield.
Liverpool made a counter offer of £17million, Wenger did not follow the bid. Xabi hassince gone on to win alomost every trophy and has established himself as one of the very best in Europe.
7. Ronaldinho (AMC)
Arsenal very nearly signed Ronaldinho before his move to PSG.
“We could have got Ronaldinho before he went to PSG,” Wenger told Sky Sports. “I met his brother, who is his agent, a long, long time before he went to PSG, when he was 20, but we just could not get him to England because of the rules here.”
8. Lionel Messi (AML)
It is known that at the age of 15 Messi had visited the Arsenal training ground with fellow Barcelona youngsters Pique and Cesc Fabregas in 2002.
Arsenal started discussions with Messi’s family but the issues of a work license and lack of accomadation for his family scuppered the arrangement.
9. Cristiano Ronaldo (AMR)
Ronaldo is one signing that still haunts Wenger as claimed by him, Ronaldo had visited London and was presented with a number 9 jersey with his name at the back by Arsene, but as luck could have it Lisbon played Manchester United and the rest is history.
10. Samuel Eto’o (STR)
Samuel Eto’o was offered to Arsenal in 2004, an year after Arsene Wenger had lost the chance to sign Yaya Toure.
But Wenger himself has stated that the Cameroon superstars attitude caused him to not pursue the future Barcelona striker.
11. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (STR)
Zlatan visited London in 2000, and was all set to sign for Arsenal, but Wenger did the unthinkable and asked him to do a trial.
“He was 16, I asked him to have some training with the first team. He did not want to do it and I did not sign him,” said Wenger, Zlatan very famously said “Zlatan doesn’t do auditions”.