Wenger: Arsenal tried to sign Pogba

The Gunners boss was interested in the France midfielder but said his side were unable to make contact with him while he was at Man Utd

Arsene Wenger has revealed Arsenal attempted to sign Paul Pogba from Manchester United prior to him joining Serie A giants Juventus.

The France international left Old Trafford in 2012 having made just three first-team appearances, but has matured into one of the world’s most sought after players following his showings in Serie A.

And Wenger has admitted the 21-year-old was on his radar as a teenager, but his age meant a deal was difficult to push through.

Wenger told BeIn Sport: “We were interested by Pogba when he was at Manchester. We tried to get him, but it was complicated. I was surprised to see Manchester let him go. We did not have the right to contact him.”

The Gunners have struggled in the centre of midfield in recent years, with Abou Diaby’s persistent injury problems proving an issue for Wenger.

Diaby has made just two appearances since March 2013, but Wenger believes the former Auxerre man has shown great character to continue coming back and trying to regain his full fitness.

He continued: “Diaby hasn’t a mental problem, but a problem of injury. He is a player for whom I have great respect.

“Whenever he returns, he is injured and goes from zero. He was destroyed by a bad tackle. The soccer player needs the mobility of his ankle. When your ankle mobility is restricted, you compensate with something else.

“He suffered from a very bad tackle in Sunderland six or seven years ago. A tackle murderer who was never punished. It has restricted the mobility of the ankle.

“If he comes back, I’ll keep him. I always believed in him. In football, the most important thing is health.”