Real Madrid knocked on Arsene Wenger’s door more than once when he was Arsenal manager but the Frenchman turned down the Spanish giants in order to remain in the Premier League.
Arsene Wenger was heavily in demand during his glory days at Arsenal as he guided the Gunners to their most successful ever spell, including their most laudable Invincibles season in 2003/04, their third Premier League title under his watch.
Wenger subsequently stepped aside in 2018, and has now only chosen to reveal how he received several opportunities to leave the club for much more attractive options but always opted to remain in north London.
After recently confirming he was once offered the job by Manchester United, he has now revealed why he also resisted the continual advances of Spanish giants Real Madrid.
When questioned by BBC Sport which offer he came closest to taking, Wenger replied straight off the cuff:
“Certainly Real Madrid – because you do not know many people who turned them down twice.
“And it was to stay with a team which doesn’t have the resources to win the championship.
“But I told myself if I was going to go for the challenge of managing Arsenal, I would go until the end.
“You have different types of managers. I was the longest-serving manager at Monaco and the longest-serving manager at Arsenal – so it’s part of my personality.”
But he saw it fit to defend his record in the latter stages of his reign.
“I don’t believe you should rate highly what a fan says in the moment – a fan says something based on the moment, based on emotions,” he said.
“Today it seems the minority has a big dictatorship. They dictate what is talked about, therefore if you have 50 people on social media being negative it can somehow get more attention than 60,000 people in a stadium.
“It doesn’t mean everybody has to do what they talk about. If you look at our last three years you will see in 2016 we finished second – OK, it was behind Leicester City but every other club finished behind Leicester too and they lost only three games. In 2017 that was the first time we were not in the Champions League since 1997.
“So, yes, I wish we had maintained that record but I think this year we have a good chance in order to be back in the top four.”