In the last 24 hours it has emerged that Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger came extremely close to leaving the club for the managerial role at Man United as a replacement for Sir Alex Ferguson.
After another dismal transfer window it has now been reveled that Arsenal fans could have been spared all the pain and anguish they claim the Frenchman to have brought to their club if a proposed deal for Wenger to join United had come to fruition.
In an exclusive interview with GQ magazine, former Red Devils chairman Martin Edwards has revealed that when Ferguson initially decided he would stand down as United manager in 2002 that the club’s primary target was the French manager whose achievements in North London has not gone unnoticed.
Ferguson of-course performed an astonishing U-turn on his decision and decided to remain with the Manchester club for over ten more extremely successful years.
However, Edwards has stated that United were in serious talks with Wenger to replace the Scotsman and had already met to discuss the deal.
“Our first choice was Arsene Wenger. Since joining Arsenal in 1996, Wenger had been pretty successful, especially in his first full season in charge when he won the Double.” Edwards adds, “And while it’s true to say that he has suffered hard times since, at the time we all thought he was the best candidate to replace Alex. Certainly he was my No.1 choice.”
The former-chairman did indicate that he still remains hesitant as to whether the Arsenal man would have actually left North London but commenting on Wenger’s interest he said it was, “enough to want to meet with both Peter Kenyon and me at his home in London to listen to what we had to say,”
What an astonishing turn events that could have been if it had come to fruition. While we’re sure that many of the ‘WengerOut’ campaigners are devastated that the deal came so close, Wenger did go on to complete Arsenal’s astonishing ‘Invincible’ season in 2003/04 which still remains one of footballs greatest achievements.