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Arsenal: Five superstars Arsene Wenger nearly signed

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Arsenal's summer frustration continues after another target, Luiz Gustavo, chose to join VfL Wolfsburg instead.

However, the Brazilian is next to nothing compared to the following superstars that Arsene Wenger nearly signed.

1) Cristiano Ronaldo

It may seem ridiculous now, but Ronaldo was actually a whisper away from putting pen to paper and signing for Arsenal. In 2003, Arsene invited the 2008 Ballon d'Or winner round to Arsenal's training ground in London Colney for talks. Ronaldo received a tour of the facilities before being given a shirt with his name on the back and was reportedly with the Gunners for as long as two months. However, Arsenal could not agree a fee with Portuguese club Sporting Lisbon.

2) Zlatan Ibrahimovic 

Another world class star who has gone on to achieve great things, Ibrahimovic nearly signed for Gunners in the summer of 2000. Arsene Wenger had expressed interest following Ibra's goal-scoring exploits at Malmo and invited the Swede to the Gunners training ground. However, Ibrahimovic turned down a request to train with the Arsenal first team and instead decided to join Ajax. Zlatan doesn't do auditions!

3) Yaya Toure

After signing his older brother, Kolo, the Gunners attempted to sign the other sibling - Yaya Toure, of course. The even played for Arsenal in a pre-season friendly against Barnet, however Wenger decided against signing him - a decision Yaya has since said he understands. He then moved on to Olympiacos - we all know what happened after that!

4) Joe Hart

Another Manchester City star to make this list, Joe Hart was another youngster nearly poached by Mr Wenger. The Arsenal goalkeeping coach had been watching him play between the sticks at Shrewsbury Town and highly recommended him to the Arsenal boss. However, Manchester City moved faster and the Gunners lost out.

5) Phil Jones

This time, we have a player from the red side of Manchester. Phil Jones had had an excellent season for Birmingham in 2010/11 and was on the radar of many top clubs. The Express journalist Matt Law claimed that Blackburn had accepted a bid from Arsenal, while the Gunners had also offered higher wages than United. Despite that, Jones headed for Manchester and has turned into one of England's most promising young players.

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Topics:
Arsenal
Premier League
Football
Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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