Former Barcelona FC president Joan Gaspart has put a twist in the Arsenal vs. Barcelona saga, claiming that the Arsenal manager once wanted to go to Barcelona.
Barcelona was at the turn of the millennium when Barca were in the shadows of their greatest rivals, Real Madrid, who won three European Cups in five seasons.
Gaspart explains that at this time (2001) Barcelona tried to sign Arsene Wenger as coach.
He claims the current England national manager, Fabio Capello, was also a possibility: “When I was president, when [Llorenc] Serra Ferrer left, we negotiated with Arsene Wenger and Fabio Capello to coach Barca."
He says Arsenal would not let him leave. “I met Wenger in Paris. He wanted to come to Barca but Arsenal didn't let him. The Arsenal chairman ordered him to fulfil his contract.”
It was the same with the Italian. “Capello also wanted to come, but they (AS Roma) didn't let him either.”
This puts a twist on the Cesc Fabregas war.
Arsene is determined not to let his captain go back to Spain, almost a decade after he was going to leave for them.
Years later, Wenger has become one of the most popular and highest rated managers in the Premier League and Arsenal history, and looks like he will be staying for many more years.