The legendary former Gunners manager told Ian Wright about his regrets for not signing the two Premier League stars.
Arsene Wenger rates Cristiano Ronaldo and N’Golo Kante as his biggest transfer regrets at Arsenal.
The story of how Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United pinched an 18-year-old Ronaldo from Arsenal’s grasp back in 2003 has been retold countless times, and remains Wenger’s deepest transfer regret.
But while promoting his documentary ‘Arsene Wenger – Invincible’, the former Arsenal boss stunned his old star striker Ian Wright by revealing how easily Kante could’ve ended up at the Emirates.
Quizzed in an interview for LADbible about his biggest transfer regret, Wenger told Wright: “Certainly Cristiano Ronaldo.
“I thought it was possible and if we had been a fraction quicker, a few days, because we had agreed [a deal], and Man United came in five or six days later.
“So I would say at the start of my career, Cristiano Ronaldo. At the end of my career, N’Golo Kante.”
The one where Kante almost became a Gunner
After dropping the Kante bombshell on an astonished Wright, Wenger explained how a deal for the now-Chelsea midfielder could’ve been possible for Arsenal.
“Easy, because he played in a club in Paris called Caen, where one of my best friends is director,” Wenger continued.
“He told me, ‘Please, I have a player we know is unbelievable but nobody wants him in France’. He took him in his car and traveled with him from club to club and finally a club from division three in France took N’Golo Kante.
“It is an unbelievable story, N’Golo Kante, you could make a film as well with him.
“And he is something that you don’t find often. He wins the ball without making any foul, and straightaway he moves that ball forward.”