Mikel Arteta hopes to bring back former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger in some capacity after revealing on Thursday that preliminary talks had taken place.
During his 22-year tenure as manager of the London club, which ended in 2018, the 72-year-old Frenchman won three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups.
One of his most notable accomplishments was going unbeaten in the 2003/04 Premier League season, the last time Arsenal was crowned English champions.
Current manager Arteta, who played under Wenger, is eager to tap into the former manager’s knowledge and confirmed the pair spoke about it when they met at the premiere of “Arsene Wenger: Invincible,” a documentary about his ex-boss, who now works for FIFA as the chief of global football development.
During his pre-match press conference on Thursday, the Spaniard was asked if a formal offer had been made.
“Communication has occurred,” he stated. “When we went to see the movie, I saw him and talked to him. It was great to see him and talk to him — and hopefully, we’ll be able to bring him closer to us.
“Because I think he’ll have a great time just seeing what he can create around him (and) around this place.” Because of the club’s respect and admiration for what he’s done — and also for what he represents as a person in this club.”
Arteta did not elaborate on the type of role Wenger could play, but he did say he would “like him to be much closer personally to me.”
“Because I think it would be a great help — and a great help for the club,” Arteta explained.
“Things take time, and I believe he has to set those times.” What I can say from my side, and I believe I can speak for everyone, is that we would be delighted to have him much closer.”
Arsenal is fifth in the Premier League table after 12 games this season and face bottom club Newcastle on Saturday.