Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted that missing out on Yaya Toure remains one of his biggest regrets of his managerial career.
Wenger signed Yaya Toure’s brother Kolo Toure, but missed out on the former Barcelona midfielder, due to work permit issues.
And ahead of the Gunners’ Premier League clash with City, which Wenger feels is his side’s last chance to claw themselves back into the title race, the Frenchman has admitted that he still regrets for not being able to sign Yaya Toure.
The 30-year-old, who joined City Barcelona in 2010, started his playing career with Beveren, the Belgian club who have a close working relationship with Arsenal.
Wenger wanted to sign him, but Toure had difficulty in getting work permits and ultimately grew impatient and opted to sign for Ukrainian side Metalurh Donetsk instead.
“It would be up at the top [of regrets], but let’s not forget that Yaya Touré had an agreement with us and it’s not because we did not want to sign him that he went to Ukraine,” Wenger said, as quoted by The Times.
“We needed to wait for his passport in Belgium. We have made mistakes but he is not a mistake, it’s just the fact that preferred to go go Metalurh Donetsk. It was there he could go without any passport.”
Arsenal are three points behind third placed City, who have two games in hand and are six points behind Chelsea, the leaders. Despite winning only two of their last seven matches, Wenger is adamant that his side can successfully challenge for the Premier League title.