Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed that he has had offers to return to the Premier League since departing the Gunners in 2018, but chose to turn them down because of his lasting affinity with the club where he was famously in charge for 22 years.
Wenger revolutionised Arsenal as a football club, both on and off the field, winning three Premier League titles, including the ‘Invincibles’ triumph in 2003/04, and seven FA Cups – a record for an individual manager.
Even at the age of 69 – the Frenchman will celebrate his 70th birthday later this month – he is still not retired. But his lasting love of Arsenal comes before any professional decision.
“I’m an Arsenal man and after that I’m a professional,” he told Sky Sports.
“I can’t stop working,” he added. “I decided to move out of the Premier League because I am too linked with Arsenal. I had opportunities to work in England but I turned them down. I don’t want to tell you [which clubs] because there are people in charge and it would unfair to them.”
Rather than a return to club management, Wenger has hinted that he could take a global development role with FIFA instead, with a decision on that to come soon.
“It’s chief of football development in the world and that decision will be made very soon. They look for people who have big experience and knowledge of the game who have learned a lot,” he said.
Wenger has already worked in multiple countries on different continents. He started his managerial career at French club Nancy in 1984, ahead of moving on to Monaco in 1987.
Wenger’s move to Arsenal in 1996 was preceded by a spell in Japan, where he was in charge of Nagoya Grampus Eight in the country’s J-League, which was at that time still newly founded.