Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has revealed that he previously attempted to sign now Manchester United star Angel di Maria, reports the Express.
The Gunners boss has insisted that he tried to land the Argentine ace when he was just 17-years-old, but work permit issues ultimately scuppered the move.
Di Maria, of course, has since completed a British record £60 million move to Manchester United after proving his credentials at Spanish giants Real Madrid.
And Wenger has admitted that the forward could have signed for Arsenal, as the Gunners boss told reporters: "Ideally it would be to open it completely. Anyone can come in. Because at the moment we are in a position where they force you to spend money on a player who sometimes you have identified.
"We had identified (Angel) Di Maria when he was 17. We saw him in an international competition and wanted him to come here. So he goes to Portugal, from Portugal he goes to Spain. Why? Because he could not get a work permit.
"That means you can only get him to England once he is worth a huge amount of money."
Arsenal fans will most certainly be disappointed that the club were unable to land Di Maria all that time ago as he's now recognised as one of the leading forward talents in world football.
At Manchester United, despite injury problems throughout his debut season with the club, he's slowly but surely getting to grips with the English game. Red Devils fans will no doubt be hoping to see the best of the former Real Madrid man over the coming weeks and months.
The Gunners, meanwhile, are currently dealing with work-permit issues, as the club are hoping to land Brazilian defender Gabriel Paulista in this January transfer window. However, with work-permit issues currently slowing the move down, it remains to be seen as to whether the Gunners land the Villarreal man before deadline day.
Wenger and Co. will certainly be hoping that they're able to get the deal over the line, with the club seemingly in desperate need of defensive additions. After selling former captain Thomas Vermaelen to Barcelona this past summer, the north London outfit have looked vulnerable at times throughout the course of the season.
For now, though, Arsenal will be focusing on tomorrow's FA Cup fourth round clash with Championship outfit Brighton, as the club look to retain the piece of silverware.
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