How did FC Porto miss out on Arsene Wenger before Arsenal?

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Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa, president of FC Porto since 1982, admitted in an interview that when the French technician managed AS Monaco, he almost signed Arsene Wenger. But the Monegasque club refused to let their coach go.

Arsene Wenger may have signed up with FC Porto in the 1990s. In an interview with Dragos magazine, President Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa says that he has always been “successful in hiring all the coaches” during his 40-year management career, except in two cases.

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“He had agreed to come”

“One of them was Arsene Wenger, who was in Monaco at the time and I thought he would make a great coach, Jorge Nuno returned to Pinto da Costa. Via Luciano d’Onofrio he has come to Porto and we had lunch at the hotel He had agreed to come to the club, we also signed the terms because he was convinced that Monaco would leave him and he could come, despite a one-year contract that Monaco did not allow or wanted to negotiate Was.

Arsene Wenger was finally relieved of his duties by Monaco at the start of the 1994–95 season. He returned to Nagoya Villages in Japan in January 1995. The French technician would return to Europe, Arsenal, in September 1996. “The next year, Arsenal came and it was no longer worth bringing him here”, regrets the man who has led FC Porto since 1982.

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Pinto da Costa’s other regret relates to Romanian Mircia Lucescu, who “signed a contract on condition of being released by his club”. But like Arsene Wenger, Lucescu never eventually joined FC Porto or Portugal. This season, it is Portuguese Sergio Consco who leads the club from Pinto da Costa and who is on his way to a new title in the league.

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