'I'm not looking for other jobs' - Arsenal boss Wenger plays down Barcelona talk

Last Updated
Getty Images

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has sought to distance himself from reports suggesting that he could be a contender to succeed Luis Enrique at Barcelona.

A managerial vacancy at Camp Nou will open up this summer, with Enrique announcing on Wednesday that he is to stand down at Barca.

His future had been the subject of intense speculation in much the same way Wenger’s has been at Emirates Stadium this season.

Candidates to replace Enrique at Barca

The Frenchman's current contract expire at Arsenal will expire at the end of the 2016-17 campaign, with no extension agreed as yet.

A failure to push Arsenal back into title contention, while enduring a 5-1 humbling away at Bayern Munich in the first leg of their last-16 Champions League tie, has sparked talk of an imminent exit.

Wenger, though, has always maintained that his preference is to remain in north London, and that stance has not wavered despite the Barca links.

Arsene Wenger Arsenal 2017

He said on Thursday when pressed on the latest rumours: “No, my preference [staying at Arsenal] is always the same, it will remain the same.

“I am not looking for jobs at other clubs or jobs of other people. I am just focusing on getting to the next level and try to improve.

'Super coach' to succeed Enrique

“Competent managers always try to get better, to reinvent themselves.”

Wenger also brushed off questions regarding his reported snubbing of a £30 million offer from China.

He added: “This press conference is about the Liverpool game. Not about my future or what I turned down or did not turn down.”

Arsene Wenger Arsenal Southampton

The quizzing regarding his future did not end there, though, with Wenger having to fend off further suggestions that his time at Arsenal may be coming to a close.

He remains adamant that any departure from the club will be driven by a decision from the board, with his commitment to the post highlighted by his longevity and willingness to reject the advances of others in the past.

Alexis protest march is massive flop

Wenger added: “I’ve been here 20 years and many times had the opportunity to leave.

“I don’t have to convince you my preference has always been Arsenal, but I am objective enough to make the right decision for myself and the club itself.

“The club can also make their decision if it wants and I will respect that.”