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Wenger Confirms He “Had An Agreement” To Sign Powerhouse Midfielder
It’s a story that will forever haunt Arsene Wenger and Arsenal fans, but the boss has been recalling the time he almost signed Yaya Toure.
The Manchester City midfielder came close to joining the club over 10 years ago when he had a successful trial and even played in a friendly against Barnet in the summer of 2003.
Wenger was so impressed he quickly came to an agreement with the player and set about trying to seal a work permit for him to be eligible to play in the UK.
However, the move collapsed when it become apparent that Toure would have to go out on loan to Belgium for at least a year before he could play for us, so the Ivory Coast midfielder decided to head to Ukraine where he didn’t need an EU passport.
Arsene has described missing out on Toure’s signature as his biggest transfer regret, but insists he did everything he could to bring the player to Arsenal.
He told Arsenal.com.
“It would be up at the top [of my list of regrets],” he said. “But let’s not forget that Yaya Toure had an agreement with us – and it’s not because we did not want to sign him that he went to Ukraine.
“We needed to wait for his passport in Belgium. We have made mistakes but he is not a mistake, it’s just the fact that he preferred to go to Metalurh Donetsk. He could go there without any passport.”
Of course Toure went on to play for Barcelona before joining City where he’s been tearing up the Premier League, showing us exactly what we missed out on, and he scored his 21st goal of the season against Man Utd on Tuesday.
All clubs come close to signing players and have regrets, but along with Cristiano Ronaldo, I think Toure is the one I am personally frustrated about. He could have been a great at Arsenal and would have filled the physical void that was left in the middle of the park when Patrick Vieira was sold.
Oh well, let’s just hope we find a way to stop him on Saturday….