Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed that Manchester United offered him the manager’s job during his coaching career.
Wenger had an illustrious connection with the Gunners, lasting almost 22 years following his 1996 arrival.
In that time, he won three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups, as well as seven Community Shields. And despite his tenure at The Emirates tailing off in its latter years, his status as a club stalwart has not been lost.
However speaking to The Times, Wenger revealed that his career could have taken a very different path.
United and PSG both offered him a job, with the Frenchman instead opting to remain in north London.
“I was offered that job (PSG) a few times,” Wenger said.
Asked about more information on United‘s offer, he added: “I don’t tell you that. But I can tell you Man Utd offered me the job.”
The rivalry between Wenger and fellow Premier League stalwart Sir Alex Ferguson proved to be a defining battle in the English top flight.
Wenger said of the pair’s relationship: “Ah, we had some good battles. He’s an intelligent man. You don’t have a career like this guy if you’re stupid.”
Wenger left Arsenal in the summer of 2018 before taking up a role as FIFA’s head of global football development.
The 70-year-old though admitted that he may have outstayed his welcome in north London.
Wenger hints at Arsenal regret
“Maybe I stayed too long,” Wenger said. “I don’t know. But I was committed like on the first day. I think I guided the club through the most difficult period in a very successful way.
“At some stage people say you’re too old, but they don’t really look at what you do. I served the club as much as I could.
“The club thought it was better I stopped. I’d always lived with the idea that could happen. The supporters were not happy any more. Some of them. You can understand that, at some stage, 22 years, people want a change.”
Wenger also revealed how he has already turned down the chance to re-join Arsenal.
“I will go one day,” the Frenchman said. When asked about offers to return to north London, he said: “Yes. But I thought it was better to cut [ties] completely.
“It was difficult at the start, of course, after leading my club as long as I did. But I thought it’s better to follow from a distance.”