Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany had the chance to join Arsenal prior to signing on for Hamburg in 2006, but opted not to as he was worried about the amount of game-time he would be afforded at a top European club, according to his agent.
The Belgian international’s chief representative, Jacques Lichtenstein, confirmed via Sport Voetbal magazine - and relayed by the Daily Express - that he had met with Arsene Wenger himself, as well as chiefs at Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid, before the decision was made for his client to move from Anderlecht to German club Hamburg.
"I had meetings with Emilio Butragueno at Real Madrid, the club leaders at Barcelona and by Arsene Wenger himself at Arsenal," Lichtenstein revealed.
"But heading to an absolute top club immediately was not the right solution because Vincent is someone who feels alone in an environment where he is not properly valued.
"Vincent is not a third or fourth choice."
Moving forward Lichtenstein also revealed that Barcelona made enquiries this summer as they sought to replace long-serving stalwart Carles Puyol, though once again they were denied their man. This time it was Kompany’s insistence that he continue at City which saw the deal collapse, and instead the Catalan club signed compatriot Thomas Vermaelen.
"Of course [there was interest]. He had the chance," Lichtenstein said.
"But he decided to stay in Manchester.
"City offers him everything he expects in a club."
"City offers him everything he expects in a club"
Given the current defensive issues Arsenal are beset with Gunners fans will be forgiven for ostracising Wenger for not doing more to convince Kompany that his future lay in north London, particularly given how well he’s settled in England since moving to the Etihad in 2008.
Whilst the partnership of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny is as good as any on it’s day the lack of cover has been alarming, and it’s fair to say that Arsenal would be far more assured with a leader like Kompany at the back.
Yet it’s easy to speak positively over what might have been, and Wenger is likely to be occupied with thoughts of the future rather than those of the past. With his side sitting in 6th place in the Premier League, and having dropped points needlessly during the opening stages of the season, shoring up his defence is certainly set to be a priority task for January.
Injuries to his back line have meant that usual full-back Nacho Monreal has been forced to play at the heart of the defence, and realistically that needs to change if Wenger harbours any hopes of challenging the likes of Chelsea and City for the title.
As for Kompany it looks as though he will see out the duration of his five-year, £31 million contract - which he signed in the summer - in Manchester, with the club seeing him as arguably their most influential player.