Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger open to England discussions
The FA’s search for a new England manager hit a bump yesterday when the favourite to replace Roy Hodgson, Gareth Southgate, ruled himself out of the running.
England are without a coach after Hodgson stepped down following the 2-1 loss to Iceland at the Euro 2016 but FA chief executive Martin Glenn has said he would be willing to wait for the ideal candidate, and The Times and Daily Telegraph both reported on Thursday that Wenger would be open to an approach.
If the Frenchman is interested, however, any deal to take the job would probably have to wait until next summer, meaning the FA would need to find an interim manager during the start of World Cup qualifying.
Jurgen Klinsmann, currently in charge of United States, has also been linked with the position while Harry Redknapp thinks Glenn Hoddle is the perfect man for the job.
Initially, it appeared that the Arsenal boss would be a long shot to be England’s next manager. But The Times don’t believe that it’s too far-fetched an idea.
According to Matt Hughes, deputy football correspondent at the newspaper, Wenger is actually willing to discuss the England job with the FA.
The Frenchman harbours a desire to manage the Three Lions when his 20-year spell at Arsenal is over, which could come next year when his contract expires.
Jurgen Klinsmann would be the wrong manager to take charge of England.
Wenger, who is working as a TV pundit during Euro 2016, has already been asked this month about the prospect of replacing France boss Didier Deschamps after the 2018 World Cup, when he said: “I am getting a bit old now to make long-term plans. For the moment I am a club manager. We shall see what happens.”
Former Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood said Wenger’s age may prevent him from taking up a new challenge.
“I want him to stay at Arsenal. He is not a young chicken,” Hill-Wood said in the Daily Mirror. “He is 66 and he would be 67 when his contract is up and turn 69 a few months after the next World Cup. It is quite senior to be in that sort of role.”