The Gunners made a swoop to pick up 16-year-old midfielder Cesc Fabregas from the Catalan club’s famed La Masia academy in 2003.
Wenger admitted that the Premier League club were keen to sign Argentina's star-in-the-making with former club-mate Fabregas, but he was already considered indispensable by Barça at the time.
“We were in discussions with Barcelona when we bought Fabregas, because Messi played [with him],” Wenger told beIN SPORTS.
“You can realise sometimes what fantastic youth teams you had before when you're a club like Barcelona. In the same team: Messi, [Gerard] Pique and Fabregas.
“Pique and Fabregas came to England, Messi stayed in Spain.
“We were interested in him, but he was untouchable at the time.”
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