Arsene Wenger: I regret Arsenal not signing Cristiano Ronaldo

Arsene Wenger has revealed that he does regret missing out on the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo when Arsenal were at their peak.

The Gunners were linked with a swoop to sign Ronaldo before Manchester United landed the Sporting Lisbon prospect back in 2003.

The Portugal legend has previously confirmed that he had met with Wenger to discuss a move to Arsenal in the early 2000s.

Arsenal were ready to sign Ronaldo when he was a teenager despite interest from Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and Inter Milan.

The Gunners looked to have won the race to sign the Sporting Lisbon prospect before Manchester United faced Ronaldo in a pre-season friendly.

Impressed by Ronaldo’s performance, some of the Manchester United players urged Sir Alex Ferguson to sign the Portuguese winger.

The Red Devils managed to swoop to sign Ronaldo ahead of Arsenal before the number seven went on to become one of the club’s best players in their history.

Ronaldo scored 118 goals in 292 games in all competitions for Manchester United, winning three Premier League titles, the Champions League, the FA Cup and two League Cups.

Former Arsenal manager Wenger admitted that he regrets that the Gunners couldn’t see Ronaldo line up alongside Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp at Highbury.

“Of course I think what if, for example, Cristiano Ronaldo played with Thierry Henry, [Robert] Pires, [Sylvain] Wiltord and [Dennis Bergkamp]. Maybe we score 200 goals in a season!” Wenger told BBC Sport.

“You regret sometimes, you think it’s your fault that you didn’t decide quickly enough or sometimes financially you couldn’t agree quickly enough, but overall I must say you go to Chelsea, you go to Manchester United, you go to Liverpool… every club is full of stories like this.”

Wenger led Arsenal to three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups trophies during his 22 seasons in charge of the north London side.

The Gunners will return to Premier League action on Saturday evening after the international break with a clash against Manchester City at The Etihad.


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