Arsene Wenger on Why He Turned Down Chance to Succeed Sir Alex at Manchester United
Arsene Wenger has opened up about rejecting a move to take over at Manchester United from Sir Alex Ferguson back in 2002, citing the club's 'values' as his reason for remaining in north London.
Former United chairman Martin Edwards revealed in his new book that Wenger was the club's main target when Ferguson looked set to retire at the end of the season, forcing the Frenchman to finally admit that he turned down Old Trafford and its myriad delights.
Speaking over the weekend, he said: “You speak about Man United, the evolution in the last 20 years would be very interesting. A lot has changed but when I came here this club was about values that I love in sport. That is why I am still in the competition.
“I always question myself. Yes, of course, Man United is attractive but am I happy here? The answer was yes. It is too long to talk about that but I think it is quite an interesting subject that you know certainly as well as I do, but a lot has changed."
Wenger also appeared to hint at some dissatisfaction at the bloated setup at the Emirates, with the club's personnel division expanding in a number of new departments.
“When I arrived here we were 80 people," he lamented, "Today we are 700. Sometimes I cross somebody inside our club who I know, that is quite new. Most of them I don’t know anymore. We have changed a lot.”
The Gunners got their season back on track this weekend with a 3-0 win over Bournemouth at the Emirates, putting the 4-0 thrashing from Liverpool out of mind to complete a professional victory.