Pique's agent prevented Arsenal transfer

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Arsenal came close to signing Gerard Pique in 2003, but missed out on the Barcelona star after his agent had a last minute change of heart, according to Guillem Balague in an interview with the International Business Times.

The Spanish football expert explained that when the north London club completed a deal for former captain Cesc Fabregas, they thought they'd also secured the signature of the highly-rated defender.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger held talks with a teenage Pique, in an attempt to lure him from Camp Nou to the Emirates Stadium, after agreeing a compensation deal with Barcelona.

"Arsenal had deals with Fabregas and Gerard Pique," said Balague. "Fabregas signed and Pique, even though he wanted to sign, didn't do it because his agent change his mind at the last moment."

The following year, Pique arrived in the Premier League after being snapped up by Manchester United, but failed to ever establish himself at Old Trafford, and returned to Barcelona four years later.

The Spain international has gone on to establish himself as an integral part of Tata Martino's first-team, and now plays alongside Fabregas, who followed Pique back to Barcelona in 2011.

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Gerard Pique

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