Arsene Wenger has revealed he was once offered the Manchester United job – and the chance to sign Pep Guardiola at Arsenal.
He also says he is ready to return to Arsenal “one day”, having not set foot in Emirates Stadium since leaving two years ago.
Wenger, 70, stepped down in May 2018 after helping the Gunners win three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups during his 22 years in charge.
The Gunners legend is now working as FIFA’s Head of Global Development, with a managerial career spanning four decades to reflect on.
Towards the end of his Arsenal tenure and since his exit, Wenger was linked with a return to France to take over at Paris Saint-Germain, but it wasn’t the only high-profile job he turned down.
“I was offered that job (PSG) a few times,” Wenger said in a lengthy interview with The Times.
He also confirmed he had the chance to take over at Old Trafford – but he wouldn’t reveal when.
“I don’t tell you that,” Wenger said. “But I can tell you Man Utd offered me the job.”
“Ah, we had some good battles,” he added on former adversary Sir Alex Ferguson. “He’s an intelligent man. You don’t have a career like this guy if you’re stupid.”
Wenger never took up residence in Manchester but one man who did was City boss Guardiola. Had things worked out differently, he might have joined Wenger in north London during his playing days.
“When Guardiola was still a player, he came to my home to ask to play for Arsenal,” Wenger said. “At the time I had [Patrick] Vieira. I had Gilberto Silva. I couldn’t take him.”
While Guardiola never got the chance to be Wenger’s protege, City starlet Phil Foden is now developing under the Catalan at the Etihad.
Wenger says he watched Foden in England’s recent 1-0 victory over Iceland, and he wants to see him given more opportunities despite a turgid game.
“It was bad. I’ve seen so many good players not doing well for England. They’re scared to play.
“Phil Foden is a guy with big quality, but at the moment he has not made it. He hasn’t played enough at Manchester City. You need about 100 games to know your job in the Premier League.
“I follow every English game on television. It’s my league. You don’t need to come from a special school to know Bayern Munich will win the championship in Germany, that Juventus will win it in Italy, that PSG will win it in France.
“England is still the most unpredictable league in Europe, even if last year was not a good year and English teams didn’t do well in Europe.”
Meanwhile, Wenger says he is ready to return to the club “one day”.
He has been invited back since, but says it was best to “cut completely” from the club after his departure.
“I thought it’s better to follow from a distance,” he told The Times.
Wenger says his exit from Arsenal was a “very lonely, very painful” separation and he currently has “no connection at all with the club”.
That is in contrast to another of the Premier League’s long-serving managers, Sir Alex Ferguson, who was offered a seat on the Manchester United board when he retired from management in 2013.
Wenger said he did not know why he had not been offered a role with the north London club, but would have accepted it had he been given the opportunity.
“I always said I would still play a part in the club, but I could understand that at the start it’s better that we take a complete distance,” he said.
Wenger previously stated he wanted to return to management in early 2019, but instead took up a role as FIFA’s job in November of that year.
Having spent some time away from the dugout, he now admits he’s “not sure” if he will manage a club again,
“For 40 years I did only that every day in my life,” he said. “[Now I am] Making some sport. Visiting my family and friends. Holidays. Reading a lot. Enjoying life but in a sensible way, because I’m a little bit drilled by 30, 40 years of discipline, you know?”
Salah: I’ll be at Liverpool next season for sure
Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah said he will be at Anfield next season “for sure” but would not be drawn over whether he will sign a new contract.
Salah’s deal ends in June 2023, leading to speculation he could be sold if he did not sign a new one as he would leave on a free in a year’s time.
“I just want to see Hendo [Jordan Henderson] with the trophy.”
“I am staying next season for sure.”
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Salah’s team-mate Sadio Mane said he would announce his decision on his own future after the final against Real Madrid in Paris.
The Senegal international, who has scored 120 goals in 268 games for the Reds, will also enter the last 12 months of his contract from June.
He told Sky Sports News: “This question [about my future] I will answer after Champions League. If I’m staying or not, I’m going to answer after [the] Champions League.”
“No, not at all,” he said. “What, if we win it they want to go? We are in talks with all the players, it is just not the moment to talk about the results of these talks. None of them are sitting there not knowing what we are planning.
“There is just not the time, we play every three days. The players have this idea, we have this idea, sometimes they match immediately, sometimes not and then we work together.
“We have known each other for ages.”
Salah joined from Roma in 2017 and has scored 156 goals in 253 games for Liverpool.
He has helped the club win the Premier League in 2019-20, the 2019 Champions League, the FA Cup and League Cup this season plus the FIFA Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup during his time at Anfield.
Falcons’ Nnadozie wins top French Women’s league award
Super Falcons goalkeeper, Chiamaka Nnadozie has been awarded with the Bruno Martini Award for Goalkeeping Revelation of the Season in French women’s football, reports soccernet.ng.
The French Association of Professional Football Goalkeeper Coaches awarded the Paris FC goalkeeper for her excellent performance in the league. She helped Paris FC finish third in the league, as the capital team also qualified for a place in next season’s UEFA Women’s Champions League.
The award is voted for by other goalkeepers, professional football goalkeeper coaches, and members of the goalkeeper coaches’ association.
Nnadozie was nominated alongside Stade de Reims goalkeeper, Emily Alvarado and Issy GPS goalkeeper, Colette Morche.
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The goalkeeper was elated with her recognition in the award given by the AEGB and thanked the association and her club for the laurel.
“I want to use this opportunity to say a big thank you to the AEGB Football Association France, for this great award. A special thanks to Paris FV, you guys made it possible.”
It was Nnadozie’s second nomination and she has now won one of them. She was also selected as one of the best five goalkeepers in the French Women’s league by UNFP, Ligue 1 organisers but missed out on the biggest prize.
Nnadozie has been invited to the Super Falcons ahead of the camping for the Women African Cup of Nations.
Asisat Oshoala also selected her as her favourite Super Falcons goalkeeper and described her as “a very good goalkeeper” in a FIFA Plus TV interview.
Breaking: Man City win EPL in dramatic comeback despite Liverpool beating Aston Villa 3-1
Manchester City on Sunday clinched their sixth English Premier League title coming back from 0-2 against Aston Villa to a surprising 3-2 win at the Etihad Stadium on the final day of the league.
The title chaser Liverpool although won their game against Wolves but it was not enough to lift the league trophy.
The City’s three goals came in five minutes to seal the title.
The win on Sunday sees Pep Guardiola’s Man City successfully defend their EPL title.
Matty Cash and Philipe Coutinho had given Aston Villa a 2-0 advantage before Man City scored three times in five minutes late in the second half.
A brace from Ilkay Gundogan, a substitute, and Rodi helped City snatch victory from the jaws of defeat and with it the EPL title.
A nervous Man City fell to Cash’s header in the 37th minute before Coutinho doubled Steven Gerard’s side’s lead in 69 minutes.
The introduction of Gundogan changed the dynamics of the encounter, with the German international heading into the net before Rodri drilled in the equalizer two minutes later.
Gundogan completed the comeback from Kevin de Bruyne’s cross to send the fans into frenzy mode as Guardiola’s side clinched the club’s fourth title in five years, punctured by the 2020 triumph of Liverpool, who finished second.
The final day final scores are:
Arsenal 5-1 Everton
Brentford 1-2 Leeds United
Brighton 3-1 West Ham
Burnley 1-2 Newcastle (Burnley are relegated)
Chelsea 2-1 Watford
Crystal Palace 1-0 Manchester United
Leicester City 4-1 Southampton
Liverpool 3-1 Wolves
Manchester City 3-2 Aston Villa
Norwich 0-5 Tottenham
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