Arsène Wenger admits he would love to have signed David Beckham.

The former England captain announced on Thursday that will retire from football at the end of the season after an illustrious 20-year career.

The 38-year-old trained with Arsenal on numerous occasions during his time at LA Galaxy, and Wenger was always impressed with his dedication.

“Yes I was [interested in signing him] but it was during the period where we could not afford to pay him,” the manager said.

“After that it was a question mark as well before he went to Milan, but he was in a position where we did not really need players.

“It was always a pleasure to have him here for his attitude and behaviour, he gained respect from everybody through his dedication and commitment.

“At the end of the day, no matter how strong a player is, what remains in your memory is his genuine commitment and dedication, his natural humility which he always had. That will stay forever.

“You forget sometimes if he has won this championship or that championship, but you never forget how he behaved, and that is a credit to him.

“More than what he has achieved I have a huge respect for his passion for the game, his huge commitment, his mental strength - because he was under a lot of pressure throughout his career - and his dedication. I think that is where he is an example.”

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source Rob Kelly 17 May 2013