Former Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner has opened up on a telephone row with Arsene Wenger over a possible move to Crystal Palace back in 2013.
Bendtner rose through the youth ranks at Arsenal before graduating to the first team in 2005 and went on to score 45 goals in 171 appearances for the club.
The Danish forward was on the Gunners’ books for nine years, but towards the end of his Emirates Stadium career, he was sent out on loan to Sunderland and Juventus.
Bendtner returned to Arsenal in the summer of 2013 after an unsuccessful temporary spell in Turin and quickly set his sights on a possible permanent move to Crystal Palace.
The 31-year-old was inches away from sealing a deadline day switch to Selhurst Park, but Wenger insisted that he remain at the club to serve as a back-up striker.
Bendtner has now revealed the details of his furious telephone rant at Wenger after being denied the chance to complete a transfer away from Arsenal, speaking in his new book ‘Both Sides‘, which has been released on Tuesday.
The enigmatic star went on to appear just once for Arsenal in the 2013-14 season, before finally leaving north London to join German outfit Wolfsburg.
As per the Mirror – Bendtner, who now plies his trade in Denmark with Copenhagen, has opened up on the incident which he acknowledges as a key turning point in his relationship with Wenger.
“My choice has dropped at Crystal Palace,” he wrote. “Another old London club, completely without Arsenal’s trophies and titles in recent times, but with proud traditions and loyal fans.
“When the transfer window slams in a few hours, it finally happens. On September 3rd at 00.00 I will no longer be Arsenal player. All that’s missing right now is a signature from Arsene Wenger.
“The details are in place. Two years with Selhurst Park as home. Same basic salary as in Arsenal and some slightly bad bonuses – unless we go and over-perform. I will be the first choice in the attack, side by side with Chamakh, my competitor back from the 2010/11 season.
“If only I had to think about my own career, Juventus would clearly have been the coolest, but Crystal Palace is going. That’s what I say to myself.
“It’s been the evening of my last day as Arsenal player. I’m sitting at The Westbury, my favourite hotel in London, waiting for the fax with Wenger’s signature.
“With me, I have Tom Brookes (his agent), Crystal Palace’s club chairman, Steve Parish, and manager Ian Holloway. We have been here most of the day and I am impatient like in the old days. It’s my restless ego for a full blowout.
“The clock has rounded 20 as Wenger rings. He goes straight to the case. ‘It doesn’t matter to your move,’ he says. ‘We haven’t been able to buy the striker we wanted. So now you have to be a backup. It will be your job next year. ‘
“I hang up. Looking at Tom, who shrugs. Then I call back. Saying a lot of ugly, disrespectful things. Like ‘a**hole’ and ‘w***er.’
“‘We don’t like each other anymore’” I finish my snapping. “’It will be best for everyone to part ways.’” I’m really trying to free myself.
“’Yes okay, it’s very possible,’” Wenger replies with his thick French accent. ‘But it’s not going to happen. See you for training.’”
Bendtner added on his apology to Wenger this next day, which ultimately counted for little: “I have a sleepless night, and on Tuesday morning I drive early to London Colney.
“I go directly to the manager’s office and knock. ‘You must excuse the things I was told yesterday,’ I begin.
“I really don’t want to be Wenger’s enemy. Morten Olsen and him are probably the two that I at least want to disappoint. The boss has been following me for nine years and knows what it’s all about.
“’We forget it and look forward,’” he says.
“I’m not that naive. My chances in the Arsenal jersey have never been less. The next year will be uphill like nothing else in my career. And there is no one to support me.”