Wenger Reveals When Arsenal Nearly Signed Gareth Barry

Now at West Bromwich Albion, the 36-year-old midfielder is a model of professionalism, dedication and durability, his career arguably never receiving the credit it has fully deserved.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger feels the Gunners can be proud of what Kieran Gibbs achieved while at the club, while the Frenchman also admitted it will be unusual to see the left-back on the opposing team when West Brom take on Arsenal.

WEST BROM midfielder Gareth Barry has revealed Arsenal tried to sign him twice as he prepares to break the Premier League appearance record at the Emirates Stadium.

Barry made 365 appearances for Villa before playing 132 matches in the top flight for Manchester City.

It will be Barry's 633rd appearance in the most-watched league in the world, surpassing the record he held with Manchester United great Ryan Giggs.

Despite now being in his late 30's, Barry is still hungry as ever to play first team football on a regular basis and he left Everton in order to continue doing so.

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"The number I'll achieve is an individual one".

'I'm sitting there laughing at him, but he was deadly serious, and I still laughed.

"He still needs to adapt to the physical aspect of the Premier League and that will take a little bit of time, but on the other fronts there is no problem at all".

"You hit certain landmarks along the way, your 100th and so on but, even when I played 500, I am thinking, "you are coming towards the end of your career". I've been able to keep going".

But he said: "I am not a hard man".

Both Arsenal and Manchester City were apparently keen on signing him in the summer transfer window as they looked to bolster their defensive ranks. More so for my kids, I'd be proud for them to see their dad up there. You make your debut and you're focused on different things.

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