Francis Cagigao has just been sacked at Arsenal, his exit is one of the more painful ones that has happened at the club this summer because of the impact he had at the club.
In close to three decades at the north London side, he helped to unearth the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Hector Bellerin.
He was so highly-regarded by Arsene Wenger that the Frenchman almost always trusted his recommendations.
After Wenger left the club, the Gunners decided to move in another direction in terms of recruitment and when this pandemic struck, they had the perfect excuse to disassemble their scouting network headed by Cagigao.
The scout is now looking forward to new opportunities and he discussed his time at Arsenal recently.
One of the things he talked about was how close Arsenal was to signing both Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique from Barcelona.
Both players would go on to become legends at the Spanish side, but they might have been Arsenal players instead.
Speaking exclusively to European Football expert Guillem Balague on his YouTube channel, Cagiago said:
‘Arsene has said that at one stage we were close to signing Leo Messi and although I wouldn’t go so far as to say we were close, we were there or thereabouts.
‘Discussions took place with his representative, but he had an issue with his work permit which at the time wasn’t even clear in Spain where he was, so that was discarded.
‘It’s public knowledge that Gerard Pique was inches away from signing a contract with us, but he joined Manchester United six months later.
‘There was some contractual disagreement between the club and Gerard’s representatives, and it didn’t go forward because of that.’