Arsene Wenger again lamented on Arsenal's decision not to match Manchester United's £12 million bid to Sporting CP for Cristiano Ronaldo in 2003.
"He was here with his mother and we were very close," Wenger said. "Then Man United came in and they had Carlos Queiroz at the time, who was their coach. United played against Sporting Lisbon and Ronaldo was outstanding and they signed him.
"There is always something you could have done differently, but the problem of negotiations is to know when you give in and when you don't give in. Once we were at £4.5m, we were still in negotiations. David met with [Ronaldo's agent Jorge] Mendes in Paris and he was representing Sporting, so we were very close. But Man United went to £12 million, which we could not afford at the time."
Arsenal had their "Invincibles" campaign that following season, but Ronaldo helped United reestablish their dominance.