Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed that he made an audacious attempt to sign Paul Pogba from Manchester United back in 2012, yet another question of what may have been for the Gunners in terms of bringing world-class talent to the Emirates.
Wenger's previously admitted chasing the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gerard Pique and Lionel Messi as a youngster, while Swedish superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic famously turned down the offer of a trial in North London before hitting the big time at Ajax.
Pogba quickly grew frustrated with a lack of first-team opportunities at Old Trafford, but all Wenger's negotiating skills couldn't keep French starlet in the Premier League two years ago.
Wenger spurned in favour of Serie A
The 21-year-old has gone on to become one of European football's most exciting central midfielders, with United's decision not to trust him in the Premier League left to look baffling to say the least.
With that in mind Wenger's revelation in a question and answer session with beIN Sports that he chased Pogba's signature is hardly a surprise, although it is a shock that he was turned down flat in favour of Juventus.
- Man United and Chelsea told €60m bid won't land Pogba
- Arsenal once agreed a deal to sign Gerard Pique
- Zlatan Ibrahimovic reveals truth on Arsenal snub
It all happened very quickly
When asked about Pogba the veteran tactician explained: "We were interested by Pogba when he was at Manchester. We tried to get him, but it was complicated.
"I was surprised to see Manchester let him go. We did not have the right to contact him."
Wenger's admission will probably be enough to to draw more criticism from frustrated Arsenal fans, particularly when Pogba is exactly the type of powerful midfield presence the Gunners are crying out for.
Free transfer is now worth at least €60m
The shrewd businessman in Wenger will also surely rue not being able to sign a fantastic prospect for nothing, particularly when Chelsea, United and Real Madrid are now being quoted in upwards of €60m by Juve to even begin conversations over a potential blockbuster deal.
Juve were ready to offer Pogba a star role immediately and that was the carrot that persuaded the French youngster to turn his back on United, plus snub Wenger in the process.
That decision now looks to have been the right one for Pogba's career, while Arsenal are realistically still searching for exactly that kind of talent to drive them forward more than two years after that fruitless chase came up short.
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