Arsenal legend Arsene Wenger – who left the Gunners two years ago after 22 years in the Highbury and Emirates Stadium hot seats and has not taken a management role since – has reportedly rejected the offer by the Spanish giants as they approached him to replace out-of-favour manager Setien.
But Barcelona’s led to Wenger recently being approached about the possibility of taking over at Camp Nou in place of Setien.
French outlet Le 10 Sport claims the Catalan giants are one of a number of clubs to approach Wenger recently due to their coaching crisis and was subsequently turned down by the 70-year-old. The report adds that initial discussions progressed well and Wenger was interested in the project before finally deciding to reject Barcelona’s offer.
It is believed that Barca chiefs want to replace Setien after the Spaniard squandered a lead at La Liga’s summit to miss out on the title to arch-rivals Real Madrid, with former midfielder and Spain legend Xavi having been earmarked for the role, but is unavailable until 2021 due to his role as manager of Qatar Stars League side Al Sadd, according to the Evening Standard.
Wenger had ruled out managing another English team after leaving Arsenal and said it would be “difficult” to take over at any other side having “dedicated my whole life to one club.”
Then the previous year Wenger admitted he did not know whether he will take on another role, saying:
“My future is unknown. Even for me.
“I enjoy daily life now and I have been travelling a lot recently all over the world.”
Wenger is currently employed as FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development and spoke of how he wants to help “get the best out of people”, be that on the pitch or off it.
“I turned down some clubs. But basically my job is to help people get the best out of them and I will continue to do that – in what way I do not know,” Wenger said.
“To do that first I have to get the best out of myself and I will try to continue to do that as well. Will I do it on the field or will I do it by sharing my knowledge with people who are in the job?”