Wenger names former Man Utd man as his biggest transfer regret

The failure to bring Cristiano Ronaldo to Arsenal when he had the chance still rankles with Arsene Wenger after the former Gunners boss labelled it his biggest transfer regret during his time as at the club.

The Portugal star, then a teenager, was close to joining the Gunners way back in the early 2000s, but the deal broke down and he went on to star, of course, for Manchester United before smashing all records known to man at Real Madrid.

Speaking to Arsenal’s official website, Wenger again recalled the tale of how the Gunners managed to let Ronaldo slip through his fingers.

Wenger believes that Ronaldo could have “changed history” at Arsenal, just as he did at Old Trafford.

“The obvious player [that we missed out on] that comes to mind is Ronaldo,” Wenger said.

“He was here with his mother and we were very close. Then Man United came in and they had Carlos Queiroz at the time, who was their coach. United played against Sporting Lisbon and Ronaldo was outstanding and they signed him.

“You could imagine at the time what it would have been like to have Thierry Henry and Ronaldo together. Later Man United had Rooney, Ronaldo and Van Nistelrooy together, they had an exceptional football team, and Giggs and Scholes together. That would certainly have changed a little bit the history of my stay here as well.”

Arsenal’s hunt for Wenger’s replacement appears to be well underway, with the club ready to hold talks with Mikel Arteta on Thursday.


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