Footy Extras

Arsenal also wanted to land key Barcelona duo alongside Fabregas

Arsene Wenger has admitted his former club Arsenal at one point tried to land Gerard Pique and Lionel Messi to compliment their acquisition of the Spanish midfielder Cesc Fabregas.

The Spaniard arrived at the Emirates Stadium in 2003 after coming through Barcelona’s youth set-up and ultimately became a key figure for the north Londoners across several seasons.

After seeing Cesc succeed at Arsenal, the club then apparently turned their attention to two more Catalan graduates.

While Wenger did not detail when the Gunners attempted to bring in Messi and Pique, he did reveal the Gunners had lofty ambitions to line-up with all three at some point.

“We tried, we were not near to signing Messi,” Arsene said on beIN Sports. “But we tried to sign Pique, Fabregas and Messi, of course, we already tried but he was already too big at the time.

“Don’t forget in 2006 when we played the Champions League final against Barcelona, Messi couldn’t play because he was injured…so that’s 13 years ago and he was already a regular player in the first team. What this guy has done is unbelievable.”

Wenger, who confirmed the Gunners were close to signing Cristiano Ronaldo over a decade ago, was also questioned if there was a chance the Juventus star and Lionel could have lined up on the same side.

While confident he could have handled both living legends and their personalities, Wenger admits it was never a real possibility.

“That’s real fantasy football. I would have loved to. I had big personalities in my life, very big personalities. If you can give them what they want they are happy.” the Frenchman said.

Former Arsenal boss makes Lionel Messi transfer revelation

Arsene Wenger has revealed that his former club held discussions with Barcelona to try and land Lionel Messi while Argentina international was still in the Catalan side’s youth team.

The former Gunners manager has a long list of stars who almost signed for the Gunners before going on to become world-beaters, with the Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo recently confirming he spoke to Arsene before opting to sign for Manchester United.

And now the French tactician has revealed that he spoke to Lionel about moving to the Emirates Stadium back in 2003 when the club poached Cesc Fabregas from Blaugrana’s famed La Masia academy.

Asked if he ever tried to bring Messi to London, Arsene told beIN SPORTS: ‘We were in discussions with him when we bought Fabregas because Messi played [with him].’

‘You can realise sometimes what fantastic youth teams you had before when you’re a club like Barcelona. In the same team, Messi, [Gerard] Pique and Fabregas.’

‘Pique and Fabregas came to England [with Manchester United and Arsenal respectively], Messi stayed in Spain. We were interested in him, but he was untouchable at the time.’

In other news, Arsenal are reportedly confident that Gabon international Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will sign a fresh deal with the club.

The centre-forward has been a revelation since signing for the Gunners from Borussia Dortmund in the winter transfer market of 2018 – finding the back of the net on 44 occasions in 69 matches for the London club.

The 30-year-old star has also netted three times in four PL appearances this campaign – including the equaliser versus Tottenham Hotspur in the North London derby two weeks ago.

Lampard wants Spurs and Barcelona stars at Chelsea

Frank Lampard has named Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi and Tottenham goal machine Harry Kane as his two ‘dream’ signings for Chelsea.

Antonio Conte has endured a frustrating transfer window but hopes a flurry of late arrivals can improve the mood at Stamford Bridge.

The Italian, who led Chelsea to the title last season in his debut campaign in England, is still hoping to sign a wing-back, a midfielder and an attacker to support Alvaro Morata.

And while admitting any moves for Messi and Kane would be futile, Lampard says he would love to see the world-class duo sign for his former club.

When asked to name a potential target for Conte, the former England international told The Sport Review: ‘Is Lionel Messi realistic?! I don’t know.

‘For me, the best players in the league last year were Eden Hazard and Harry Kane.

‘So you’re looking at Harry Kane but they won’t be able to get him, that’s a fact. He’s at Tottenham and he’s very happy there.

‘He’s a fantastic player. You can dream about taking all of the top players in the world.’

Conte has previously revealed his admiration for Kane, who won the Golden Boot award last term, labelling him a ‘complete striker’.

Speaking at the end of last month, the Italian said: ‘If I had to buy one striker I would go to Kane. He is a complete striker.

‘He is strong physically, with the ball, without the ball, he fights and he’s strong in the air and acrobatic on the right and the left.

‘He’s a complete player. He’s one of the top strikers in the world. If you go to buy Kane now it would be at least £100m.

‘At least. For me, if I see this price for a striker I know for sure he’s a big striker.’

Chelsea won the league by seven points last season but appear set for a tougher test during the 2017-18 campaign with both Manchester clubs spending over £150million.

‘I think it’s going to be as close as we’ve seen for years,’ Lampard added. ‘The way all of the top clubs have added to their squads.

‘Chelsea were by far and away the strongest team last year but they’re going to be challenged much closer this year.

‘They will be up there, Manchester City and Manchester United will be up there and Tottenham – that would be my top four.

‘Arsenal and Liverpool can challenge as well, I think the quality’s there. It definitely makes for an exciting season.’

Stamford Bridge favourite reveals his two ‘dream’ Chelsea signings

Frank Lampard has named Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi and Tottenham goal machine Harry Kane as his two ‘dream’ signings for Chelsea.

Antonio Conte has endured a frustrating transfer window but hopes a flurry of late arrivals can improve the mood at Stamford Bridge.

The Italian, who led Chelsea to the title last season in his debut campaign in England, is still hoping to sign a wing-back, a midfielder and an attacker to support Alvaro Morata.

And while admitting any moves for Messi and Kane would be futile, Lampard says he would love to see the world-class duo sign for his former club.

When asked to name a potential target for Conte, the former England international told The Sport Review: ‘Is Lionel Messi realistic?! I don’t know.

‘For me, the best players in the league last year were Eden Hazard and Harry Kane.

‘So you’re looking at Harry Kane but they won’t be able to get him, that’s a fact. He’s at Tottenham and he’s very happy there.

‘He’s a fantastic player. You can dream about taking all of the top players in the world.’

Conte has previously revealed his admiration for Kane, who won the Golden Boot award last term, labelling him a ‘complete striker’.

Speaking at the end of last month, the Italian said: ‘If I had to buy one striker I would go to Kane. He is a complete striker.

‘He is strong physically, with the ball, without the ball, he fights and he’s strong in the air and acrobatic on the right and the left.

‘He’s a complete player. He’s one of the top strikers in the world. If you go to buy Kane now it would be at least £100m.

‘At least. For me, if I see this price for a striker I know for sure he’s a big striker.’

Chelsea won the league by seven points last season but appear set for a tougher test during the 2017-18 campaign with both Manchester clubs spending over £150million.

‘I think it’s going to be as close as we’ve seen for years,’ Lampard added. ‘The way all of the top clubs have added to their squads.

‘Chelsea were by far and away the strongest team last year but they’re going to be challenged much closer this year.

‘They will be up there, Manchester City and Manchester United will be up there and Tottenham – that would be my top four.

‘Arsenal and Liverpool can challenge as well, I think the quality’s there. It definitely makes for an exciting season.’

Chelsea Once Again Linked With Barcelona Superstar Lionel Messi

Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea are reportedly monitoring Lionel Messi’s ongoing contract negotiations with Barcelona.

The 29-year-old has spent his entire career with the Catalan outfit, but his current deal runs out in 2018 and talks over an extension have so far been unsuccessful.

Barcelona have agreed new deals with Messi’s striking partners Luis Suarez and Neymar already this season, but chief executive Oscar Grau warned that the club must also use “common sense” when trying to come to terms with Messi.

Sky Sports News reports that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner is still expected to put pen to paper on a new contract with the Spanish champions, but that United, City and Chelsea have made their interest known to the player should he consider leaving the Camp Nou.

Chelsea Daily News Summary: Update on Striker, One Defender In, One Out

Messi has scored a staggering 479 goals in 554 appearances for Barcelona, helping the club to 29 trophies including eight league titles and four Champions League crowns.

Lionel Messi makes surprise comment about Man United

Lionel Messi is quite accustomed to being the world’s best player, playing in what’s for a long time been the world’s best team.

And he’s even now come out and admitted that Barcelona’s players, in the Pep Guardiola years, felt as though it was impossible for them to lose games – because they were literally that damn good.

In an interview with the Sun, he revealed that the team would go in to big matches like their clash with Manchester United in the 2009 Champions League final in Rome with an air of invincibility. He even went as far as saying United essentially didn’t stand a chance of winning that game, and he was right, as Barca went on to win 2-0.

He said: “There are several games when the team played in such a way that it was almost impossible for the opponents to do any damage to us.

“And it almost always happened in big matches. The final of the Champions League in Rome was one of those games when the team played the perfect match.”

Messi scored a header in that game to condemn United to defeat, and struck another in a repeat of that game two years later at Wembley. Barca won the 2009 and 2011 finals, and Messi went on to state that he thoroughly enjoyed both wins.

He added: “Both were inexplicable feelings but you live them in a different way.

“In any massive game when you score a goal, the joy of the people, your people, the supporters, and particularly our own fans, you can only enjoy those moments right there and then – and not beyond.”