Arsène Wenger May Be Offered England Job After Arsenal Contract Expires This Summer
Arsenal Manager Arsène Wenger insists England is "paradise" for him and that "could be what convinces" the 66-year-old to become the next England manager, according to Kieran Gill of the London DAILY MAIL. The Frenchman celebrated his 20-year anniversary at Arsenal on Saturday and the club wants to "tie Wenger down to a new deal, with his contract expiring at the end of this season." Arsenal Owner Stan Kroenke has, so far seen his manager "resist putting pen to paper." The opportunity to take over the national team this summer "is tempting for Wenger, who admitted to seeing England as his home." Wenger said, "(It is) the passion for me. It's paradise for football. It's as simple as that. It's a country that has a real passion for being together at the spectacle. And football is the biggest one in England." The FA approached Wenger before it appointed Sam Allardyce, who lost his £3M ($3.9M)-per-year job this week "following an undercover newspaper sting." Wenger "previously pointed out" that he would not break his £8M ($10.3M)-per-year contract at the north London club and so England "would have to wait until the summer, when he is a free agent." Wenger "flirted with the FA at his Friday press conference but could simply be using the speculation to strengthen his bargaining position for if he decides to discuss a new deal at Arsenal" (DAILY MAIL, 10/1). In London, Owen Gibson reported FA CEO Martin Glenn said that Wenger is "one of a handful of managers" with the "perfect" criteria to become the next England manager. Asked whether Wenger fit "the bill," Glenn said, "I am not commenting on that. Of course he’d fit the criteria perfectly. Of course he would, as would a few others." He also said that successful int'l managers "tend to be older." Glenn: "It doesn’t mean they all have to be but it tends to be they’ve had an experience in the game and the average age of a successful manager is probably in their 60s" (GUARDIAN, 9/30).