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Manchester United coach Michael Carrick has revealed that he was a matter of days away from signing for Arsenal back in 2004 (via The Times).
It’s no secret that Arsenal have come close to signing some of the world’s best player but for whatever reason, they failed to do so.
The likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have been touted as potential signings down the years but one player in a slightly different position came closest of all.
It was 2004 and the Gunners were on the lookout for a new central midfielder amid reports that captain Patrick Vieira would be leaving the club.
As it turned out, Arsenal looked across London at then West Ham midfielder, Michael Carrick.
“On the way home (from Portsmouth), we got another call,” Carrick recalls in his upcoming autobiography,
“‘Arsenal again, asking us to meet Arsene. As it happened we were driving past his home in north London, so we arranged to call in on the way. Within an hour I was sitting in the front room of Arsene Wenger’s house, pinching myself.
“We talked for almost an hour about football. Wenger had the Community Shield at the weekend but was spending an hour with me, so surely he had to be interested in signing me? “Let’s get Cardiff out the way, and we’ll see you Monday,” Wenger said as we left. Things were moving so fast I needed a few minutes to put it all into perspective.
“I’d heard [Patrick] Vieira was leaving Arsenal and that opened up a space in midfield, so it seemed nailed on that Monday morning I’d be an Arsenal player.”