The Gunners manager, whose side face Manchester City on Saturday evening, attempted to bring the midfielder to north London side in 2003 in a bid to partner him with brother Kolo.
We have made mistakes [with transfers], but this was not a mistake
However, the 6ft 3ins Ivorian decided to move to Ukrainian side Metalurh Donetsk after his touted Arsenal move was delayed due to an issue relating to his work permit.
Toure played for Olympiacos, Monaco and Barcelona before finally sealing a £22m move to the Premier League in 2010, emerging as one of City’s key players in their recent success.
Asked how high not signing Toure ranked in his list of regrets, Wenger replied: “It’s up at the top
“But let’s not forget that Yaya Toure had an agreement with us and it’s not because we did not want to sign him that he went to Ukraine.
“We had to wait for his passport in Belgium. We have made mistakes [with transfers], but this was not a mistake.
“He preferred to go to Metalurh Donetsk because he could go there without a passport.”
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