Former scout reveals why Arsenal failed to sign Bellingham as Messi recommendation revealed
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A former Arsenal scout has revealed all about the Gunners' failed attempt to sign teenage sensation Jude Bellingham when he was just 16.
Bellingham now plays for Borussia Dortmund and has become one of the best young players in Europe shining for both club and country.
As a result, the Englishman has attracted interest from top clubs but things could have been a lot different had he made a move to the Emirates.
Former Arsenal scout Francis Cagigao has recently revealed that the Gunners were not willing to pay the £22m fee that Dortmund bought Bellingham for back in 2020.
As reported in the Metro, Cagigao told AS: "I wanted to sign him for Arsenal, but he was already too expensive."
It's money the club will be wishing they coughed up now given how much the 19-year-old's value has soared.
He could be on his way back to England as soon as the summer with Liverpool one of several clubs interested in signing the England international.
Arsenal missed out on Messi too
Cagigao also revealed how he was the one who recommended that Arsenal sign Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique when they were in the Barcelona youth teams.
He added: "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 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."
Missing out on a player like Messi is huge but signing Cesc Fabregas instead didn't turn out too badly.
The Spaniard made 303 appearances for the Gunners and was directly involved in 152 goals during his spell in North London.
Arsenal's team would have been a lot different with Messi, and if you added Bellingham to Mikel Arteta's side now then they could potentially be even closer to lifting the title.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
Topics: Arsenal, Mikel Arteta, Jude Bellingham, Lionel Messi, Premier League, Football