Arsene Wenger has revealed that Arsenal came close to signing Chelsea winger Eden Hazard two years ago.
The Belgian was the subject of a mass scramble for his signature in 2012 after deciding to leave Lille, as the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham and Arsenal all competed with the Blues for the 23-year-old.
Eventually Chelsea clinched the 40 million euro signing and the winger has gone on to become a key player for the west Londoners, winning the PFA Young Player of the Year award this season.
Wenger told BeIN Sports: "Yes, I wanted to take him. I had his agent at my home but again the barrier was financial and Chelsea made an effort that I couldn't make.
"He can be one of the players who grows into the [Lionel] Messi, [Cristiano] Ronaldo stature if he continues to develop well."
Wenger, who is expected to put pen to paper on a new contract at the Emirates Stadium, also considered his possibilities should he ever leave the Gunners.
"If I were to go somewhere then I think it would be in a different country because I am so much Arsenal that I would not like to coach anywhere else in England," he remarked.
"Germany [is an option] because I am of German culture a little bit and it's a country where I have never worked and I am very close to it."