Former Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick has revealed that he was on the cusp on joining Arsenal's Invincibles team - before a standout performance from Cesc Fàbregas was the catalyst for the deal collapsing back in 2004.


The 37-year-old, who is currently part of the backroom staff at Old Trafford, has enjoyed a decorated career with some of English football's biggest clubs, including West Ham and Tottenham before his move to United.

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Carrick explained, however, that he was all-but confirmed as an Arsenal player before he eventually signed with Spurs over 14 years ago, following the Hammers relegation from the Premier League.


"So, we went to meet Harry [Redknapp] and Peter [Storrie] at a hotel near Heathrow on August 6, 2004, a couple of days before the season started with the Community Shield," an extract from Carrick autobiography reads, via The Times.


"On the way, David got a call from David Dein that really threw us. Dein was the main man at Arsenal and very close to Arsène Wenger. There was nothing concrete, and we didn’t know the strength of their interest, but still, Arsenal!

"Then, on the way home, we got another call. Arsenal again, asking us to meet Arsène. As it happened we were driving past his home in north London, so we arranged to call in on the way. Within an hour I was sitting in the front room of Arsène Wenger’s house, pinching myself.


"I’d heard [Patrick] Vieira was leaving Arsenal and that opened up a space in midfield, so it seemed nailed on that Monday morning I’d be an Arsenal player.


"[During the Community Shield] I saw that a kid, Cesc Fàbregas, only 17, started in Vieira’s place. Fàbregas played a blinder but I didn’t think too much about the significance.

Arsenal's Francesc Fabregas (L) keeps th

"The next day, I had to go into training at West Ham instead and, on the way, David phoned to say he’d had a call from Dein. David relayed the gist of his message, like, 'I’m sorry, the manager says we don’t need Michael. Fàbregas is coming through like he is. Sorry, the deal’s off.'


"I was totally devastated as I had my heart set on Arsenal and playing with all that talent. My head was gone. Arsenal had swayed me and I didn’t have a clue what I’d do now."


Carrick joined Tottenham just weeks later, while Fàbregas would go on to be on the brink of becoming an Arsenal legend before he returned to Barcelona and went on to join rivals, Chelsea.

Although the midfielder admits he was "devastated" by not joining Arsenal, Carrick would have the last laugh by going on to lift five Premier League titles, a Champions League and a number of other domestic honours during his career, all of which came at Manchester United.