Arsene Wenger has revealed he came close to signing Batman, Wolverine and the Silver Surfer but the deals broke down for various reasons before completion.
Having discussed at length links some years back with Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique, the Arsenal manager expounded on the near misses at his press conference this afternoon.
“Yes, it’s true,” he said. “We had a young Bruce Wayne here, he came with Alfred and we did show him around the training ground.
“We even got a ‘Wayne 9’ shirt made up for him and he seemed very happy, but in the end he felt he had to avenge the deaths of his parents by protecting the people of Gotham from crime. I respect that a lot.”
Pressed on other potential arrivals which didn’t work out, Wenger revealed that Wolverine had ‘”a little bit of everything you need in a defensive midfielder.
“Strength, work-rate, positional sense and a laser-guided long pass that would have made Steven Gerrard weep, but we could not control his temper.
“He eviscerated a youth team player who tackled him a bit late. Thankfully we had a doctor on site who was able to save him, but if it had happened during a Ford Super Sunday we would not have been able to cover it up.”
The Silver Surfer is the one that really got away though.
“Look, he could travel faster than light and the surfboard had no handbrake. I saw him working well with Henry and Bergkamp, his pace would have added an extra dimension.
“Sadly, he was frequently homesick for the planet he was no longer allowed return to and his attempts to do so resulted in too many cranial injuries.
“In the end we felt we couldn’t make the investment in a player who always would want to leave and who would probably be a cabbage by the time he was 30.”
Intriguingly, a loquacious Wenger would not make any comment on the rumour that he’d turned down Captain America in the mid-90s as he felt, after seeing Cobi Jones and Roy Wegerle, that the game hadn’t developed sufficiently Stateside at that point.