Arsene Wenger jokes he would've signed Leo Messi on transfer deadline day
Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, insisted to reporters that if Barcelona's Lionel Messi knocked on his door, he wouldn't ask him to return to Spain. Arsenal have signed only one outfield player – in Mohamed Elneny – in both of this season's transfer windows combined.
The Frenchman was being quizzed in the pre-match press conference – for when Arsenal take on Southampton in the Premier League – about whether he would have a busy transfer deadline day to which he said the club were not close to signing anyone but that a miracle could happen say a certain superstar get free.
"100 percent is difficult to say, but 99 percent sure, yes.
"A miracle can always happen, someone can knock on your door and if (Lionel) Messi knocks on my door at 10 to six tonight, I will not say 'please go back to Barcelona!'"
Back in the summer, Arsenal failed to sign any outfield player with the major addition being only that of Czech shot-stopper, Petr Cech, from London rivals, Chelsea. As astute a signing Cech was, Wenger and the board at Arsenal were both criticised by fans and former players that they hadn't done enough to ensure they could challenge on all four fronts.
With injuries to Santi Cazorla, Francis Coquelin and Jack Wilshere, Wenger was determined to sign a midfielder to ensure the balance of the team wasn't affected. In came Egyptian midfielder, Mohamed Elneny, from Basel who signed for £7 million.
Meanwhile, Arsenal loaned out multiple players to the Championship and leagues abroad. Frenchman and former Magpie, Mathieu Debuchy, signed for Bourdeaux on loan for the rest of the season – despite being subject to a late loan bid from English rivals, Manchester United.
Arsenal's on-loan French striker, Yaya Sanogo, who spent the season's first six months at Eredivisie side, Ajax Amsterdam, was recalled and sent back out on loan to Championship side, Charlton Athletic.
German winger, Serge Gnabry, is yet to complete a loan move to the Championship and can do so as their window closes a little later. Multiple teams are set to be interested in the wide-man and could seal his signature and the coming few days.