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Former Arsenal scout Francis Cagigao has explained why Lionel Messi did not join the Gunners despite coming “very, very close”.
The Argentine has enjoyed an incredible career with Barcelona, scoring 635 goals in more than 700 appearances.
However, reports emerged last month that the 33-year-old was “tempted” by a move to north London in 2003 when friend Cesc Fabregas moved there.
And Cagigao, who was sacked from his role as head of recruitment this summer after 24 years, has revealed why a move failed to materialise.
Speaking to The Guardian, the former scout said: “Messi, [Gerard] Pique, [Juan] Mata were very very close, and there were others.
“With Messi, work permit issues ensured we couldn’t get as close as we would have liked.
“And that’s all I can say on that. A lot get away – two, three, four a year – but I prefer to look at the ones we did get.”
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