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Lionel Messi to Arsenal was ‘impossible’, while Jude Bellingham was ‘too expensive’

Francis Cagigao has revealed that Arsenal narrowly missed out on signing Jude Bellingham when he was 16 years old.

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Former Arsenal scout Francis Cagigao has revealed that the Gunners narrowly missed out on signing Jude Bellingham when the midfielder was 16 years old.

The now 19-year-old is one of the most promising midfield talents on the planet. He’s recently had an exceptional World Cup with England and has returned 8 goal contributions in 18 games for Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga so far this season.

His current market value as of February 2023 is now £110million as per Transfermarkt.

The England international was a highly-rated youngster on the books of Birmingham City at the time when Francis Cagigao was looking to bring him to North London.

Arsenal were among those to express interest, but they were priced out of the running as Borussia Dortmund eventually put a £22 million ($26m) transfer package in place during the summer of 2020.

Cagigao told AS: “I saw him for the first time when he was 16 years old. I wanted to sign him for Arsenal, but he was already too expensive.”

Jude Bellingham could finally make a long-awaited move to the Premier League soon with both Liverpool & Manchester United linked with the Bundesliga star.

Cagigao also spoke about how he was once interested in luring away some of Barcelona’s youth talents:

“Lionel Messi’s situation was not 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 Gerard Pique thing was not done due to a somewhat complex bureaucratic issue. In the end we signed Cesc Fabregas from that great Barca cadet team.”

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