Arsene Wenger has said he was interested in bringing Paul Pogba to Arsenal before the France international decided to join Juventus from Manchester United in the summer of 2012.
Pogba has been a big success in Turin and Wenger admits the 21-year-old was on his radar.
The classy midfielder turned down a new deal at Old Trafford after reportedly falling out with then United boss Sir Alex Ferguson.
He failed to make a first-team start for United but has been a regular in the Juve side in the last two-and-half seasons, scoring 13 goals in 72 Serie A matches and establishing himself in the France side.
Wenger has often been criticised for his failure to land a powerful defensive midfielder and Pogba may have been the player to fill that void.
The Gunners boss revealed: “We were interested by Pogba when he was at Manchester. We tried to get him, but it was complicated. I was surprised to see Manchester let him go. We did not have the right to contact him.”
Meanwhile, Wenger has hinted that he could hand a new contract to Abou Diaby despite the midfielder’s recent injury problems. The 28-year-old has made just 22 appearances in the last four seasons and his current deal expires at the end of this campaign.
However, Wenger said: “If he comes back, I will keep him. I always believed in him. In football, the most important thing is health.”
Arsenal are 2.16 to beat Manchester United this weekend while Louis van Gaal’s side are available at 2.97 to triumph.