Lionel Messi ACCEPTED Arsenal transfer
Lionel Messi accepted a transfer from Barcelona to Arsenal as a 16-year-old, according to reports.
The Argentinian maestro was spotted by Arsenal Wenger and his scouts playing in Barca’s youth team.
The Gunners reportedly approach Messi’s family to discuss a move to England in 2003.
Wenger is said to have presented a detailed plan that mapped out the young Messi’s career and promised to fast-track him into the Arsenal first-team almost immediately.
Messi’s family were impressed with the proposal and accepted the deal.
But the transfer hit a dead-end when Arsenal attempted to secure a visa for the youngster.
The Gunners wrangled with the Home Office in an attempt to secure a work permit for Messi but eventually had to pull out of the deal.
They did manage to land his team-mate Cesc Fabregas with a similar promise of senior football.
An approach for fellow youth-teamer Gerard Pique failed because he joined Manchester United instead.