Manchester United were reportedly keen on persuading Arsene Wenger to leave Arsenal in favour of being appointed Sir Alex Ferguson’s successor.
The approach came in 2002 according to The Daily Star, with United planning for life without their legendary manager after his initial plan to retire that year.
While Ferguson ultimately changed his mind and continued for another decade, it’s claimed that Wenger was sounded out with a view of being appointed his successor.
However, it’s added by The Star that United’s tentative interest was rejected by the French tactician, who showed his loyalty to the Gunners and was never tempted by the offer to switch allegiance and move to Old Trafford.
Wenger celebrated 20 years at Arsenal last week, as he continues to do all he can to end the club’s 12-year Premier League title drought.
After enjoying many years battling with United and Ferguson for the title and other domestic silverware, it would have undoubtedly been a major shock to see him switch sides and leave the Gunners, although it would have been fascinating to see how the two clubs would have fared had the change occurred.
Nevertheless, Wenger was seemingly never interested in the proposal, and although United went on to enjoy several more successful seasons under Ferguson’s stewardship, they have struggled in recent years following his retirement.
Both David Moyes and Louis van Gaal were unable to bring the level of performance and consistency out of the players to ensure that United continued to challenge for trophies. Although the club will now hope that Jose Mourinho is the man to do so, as the Portuguese tactician looks to improve on their start to the campaign as they sit a point behind Arsenal, and six adrift of league leaders Manchester City after six games.