Arsenal's Cristiano Ronaldo bid failed over £12m price tag - Arsene Wenger

Paola Ditto
Mag 17, 2018

I think it was linked with Nike at the time and they wanted Pique to go to Man United.

Ronaldo went on to make nearly 300 appearances in his six years at Old Trafford, winning thre Premier League titles and one Champions League, before joining Real Madrid in a then-world record £86m deal in 2009, where he has gone on to win two more league titles and three more Champions League finals (with another final on the way later this month). "United played against Sporting Lisbon and Ronaldo was outstanding and they signed him", Wenger said. The Gunners were involved in the race to acquire the Portugese galactico from Sporting CP in 2003, when he was just 18-years-old, but weren't willing to match the amount that Manchester United shelled out (reportedly £12 million) to get one of the greatest players of all time.

"He was here with his mother and we were very close", Wenger said.

'There is always something you could have done differently, but the problem of negotiations is to know when you give in and when you don't give in.

'Once we were at 4.5 million pounds, we were still in negotiations.so we were very close.

He left Man United for Real Madrid for a then-world record fee of £80 million in 2009.

Arteta is the favourite to succeed Arsene Wenger in the next few weeks
Arteta is the favourite to succeed Arsene Wenger in the next few weeks

Under Wenger's tutelage, the Gunners won three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups during his long reign.

'You could imagine at the time what it would have been like to have Thierry Henry and Ronaldo together.

And Wenger didn't stop there, revealing that at the time Arsenal were raiding Barcelona's youth ranks to get Cesc Fabregas, they also made moves for Gerard Pique and Lionel Messi. That one wasn't as close, though. "I met Cesc [Fàbregas's] parents and at the time we were interested in Messi and [Gerard] Piqué as well". We tried for the three but of course it didn't work out ... because of the agents.

'[It didn't work out with Messi and Pique] because of the agents.

Mattias is ESPN FC's Arsenal correspondent.

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