Arsene Wenger says he has no regrets about failing to land either Zlatan Ibrahimovic or Cristiano Ronaldo, despite both players coming close to signing for Arsenal.
Both have gone on to become world class players – but before then could have signed for the Gunners.
Ibrahimovic, who bagged four goals against England this week including a sensational overhead kick, was pictured in an Arsenal shirt when he was 16-years-old, but didn’t sign for the Gunners after Wenger asked him to complete a trial, something he refused to do.
Ronaldo meanwhile came close to joining Arsenal only for Manchester United to snatch him from under their rivals’ noses.
However, despite seeing two world class players slip through his grasp Wenger insists he is not bitter.
'He was here at the training ground and went somewhere else,' he said. 'That has happened with many other players: Ronaldo, Ibrahimovic. The story is true that I wanted to see him but I didn't know him.
'He was 16. I asked him to have a little training session with the first team and he didn't want to do it.
'Do I regret it? No. If somebody tells you he has some quality you want to see him (yourself), otherwise it won't be serious.'
Wenger also had words of praise for Ibrahimovic’s outrageous goal against England, which prompted England captain Steven Gerrard to describe it as the best goal he had ever seen live.
'Sometimes, when a guy has a shot from 30 yards and puts it in the top corner, you say "it's a fantastic goal" - but somehow you believe you can do that as well, even if you cannot do it on a consistent level,’ he said.
'But when he scores a goal like that, you think it’s impossible for a normal athlete. You have to be an exceptional athlete to do that.
'They say he’s a master in kung fu. You could see that on Wednesday night. You need some special flexibility, subtleness and physical strength to do that, apart from the fact that you have to realise what you have to do.'
Arsenal will look to make up ground in the race for a top four spot in the Premier League this weekend when they take on rivals Tottenham, who currently sit one point clear of the Gunners in the league table.