Former Arsenal scout, Francis Cagigao, has explained why Gunners failed to sign the likes of Lionel Messi, Gerard Pique and Jude Bellingham in the past.
Cagigao said Arsenal did not sign Bellingham when he was 16 because the England World Cup star was already too expensive at that age.
According to him, the North London club did not sign Messi and Pique when both players were in the Barcelona youth team due to work permits and complex bureaucratic issues, respectively.
“I saw him [Bellingham] for the first time when he was 16 years old,” Cagigao told AS.
“I wanted to sign him for Arsenal, but he was already too expensive.”
He added, “Messi’s situation wasn’t regulated and it was impossible for him to have a work permit in the UK.
“We had several meetings with Horacio Gaggioli, his representative at the time, but it was impossible.
“The Pique thing wasn’t done due to a somewhat complex bureaucratic issue. In the end, we signed Cesc Fabregas from that great Barca cadet team.”