Arsene Wenger has distanced himself from the upcoming Barcelona vacancy and insists his focus remains on Arsenal.
The Nou Camp hotseat is set to be vacated this summer when Luis Enrique steps down and Wenger is one of the early names in the frame.
Speculation on Wenger’s future has gathered pace in recent weeks amid claims he could leave the club in the summer after another frustrating campaign, though reports suggest a new two-year contract remains on the table for the Frenchman to sign.
Asked directly about if he wants the Barcelona job at his press conference on Thursday morning, Wenger said: “No my preference [staying at Arsenal] is always the same, it will remain the same. I am not looking for jobs of other clubs or jobs of other people. I am just focusing on getting to the next level and try to improve. Competent managers always try to get better, to reinvent themselves.”
When pressed if his future was at Arsenal, Wenger continued: “I’ve been here 20 years and many times had opportunity to leave. I don’t have to convince you my preference has always been Arsenal… but I am objective enough to make the right decision for myself and the club itself. The club can also make their decision if it wants and I will respect that.
“My preference has always been Arsenal but I am objective enough to make the right decision for myself and the club itself.”
Who will replace Luis Enrique as Barcelona boss?
Wenger was asked about reports earlier in the week that suggested he had been approached by a club in China over a reported mega-money move, but he said bluntly: “This press conference is about the Liverpool game. Not about my future or what I turned down or did not turn down.”
Wenger on Ranieri
One manager who did lose his job since Wenger last addressed the media is Claudio Ranieri and the Frenchman insisted the Italian should be applauded for the job he did at the Foxes.
“I wish him well and congratulations on what he achieved at Leicester. What will be remembered is what they achieved last year. What happens in the future of Leicester depends on the players. It’s very difficult to predict what will happen,” he added.