Arsene Wenger has revealed that he turned down both Real Madrid and the England national team on multiple occasions during his 22-year stint as Arsenal boss. Wenger also revealed in an exclusive interview with beIN SPORTS that he was told to commit to Arsenal for five years, from banks financing the move to the Emirates stadium.
Arsenal made the move to their new stadium in 2006, a time in which Wenger was forced to reduce the wage bill of the side. More interesting perhaps is that the French coach revealed that banks who had loaned £260 million for the stadium construction, had insisted that Wenger stayed on. Which posed a dilemma for Wenger when Real Madrid came calling for his services.
“When we built the stadium the banks asked me to commit for five years, the first time (Real Madrid spoke to Wenger) it was inside the five years and I thought no I could not do that, that would betray my club.”
“Real Madrid I think I turned down two or three times you know. It’s one of the teams I loved when I was a kid. I just felt that it was a very sensitive period for Arsenal football club” added Wenger when reflecting back on his tenure with the North London club.
“You are always tempted to go to Real Madrid because they offered me the chance to take control of the whole club”
Despite receiving a multitude of offers whilst at Arsenal, Wenger added that he was happy throughout his tenure, and never seriously considered leaving the side. “At the end of the day, I said no once, twice. I turned so many clubs down you could believe it. At the end of the day, I was happy where I was as well.”
The England national team also came calling for the Frenchman, and even latest press reports have linked the 68-year old with the job, should Gareth Southgate's side flounder in Russia. Although looking back, Wenger felt it wouldn’t be a right for him to take the top job in English football.
“I turned them (England) down two or three times. But at that time the daily involvement for me was important.“
“I have said many times that it should be an English guy who takes the England national team. It’s a big football country they have enough quality managers and I thought maybe it’s not right for me to do that.”