Belfast Telegraph

Wenger could be tempted to give it a go at Real Madrid

Arsene Wenger has admitted it would be "interesting" to work with Florentino Perez if the former Real Madrid president returns to the Bernabeu.

Perez, who is favourite to win the elections this summer, officially presented his candidacy on Thursday, promising the Madrid fans a "spectacular project" if he succeeds.

Wenger has long been linked with a move to the Spanish giants and the Frenchman has revealed it would be a tempting offer.

"With Perez, the project will be strongly interesting for every coach," he said.

Perez has made no secret of his admiration for Wenger and tried to sign him during his first spell in charge in 2003.

Wenger has always insisted he would see out his contract at the Emirates, which runs until 2011.

"In general I always go right to the end of my contract," he added.

The Gunners boss refused to reveal whether he had spoken to Perez, saying: "Allow me to remain discreet on that matter".

At the same time, Wenger is convinced his young Arsenal side have the quality to challenge for the Premier League title next season.

With Manchester United needing only a point to clinch the title, it is difficult to gauge just how good the Gunners were in their saturday scoreless draw.

However, they certainly had the best of the few chances on offer and, unusually for an away team at Old Trafford, enjoyed the majority of possession.

It might have come a fortnight too late given the scalding they took at the hands of Sir Alex Ferguson’s all-conquering squad in the Champions League semi-final.

But, given they were also subsequently hammered at home by Chelsea, Wenger believes Arsenal’s latest effort has rekindled some self-belief.

"Now we have seen the quality of my players," he said.

"When I look back at the Champions League matches, we were too inhibited, especially in the first game.

"Maybe the occasion was a little bit too big.

"We are only a young side but, against a very good Manchester United team, we have finally shown some real authority.

"It is not a victory. But it was very important for our pride and belief to give a good performance."

Wenger might only be able to use youth as an excuse for a lack of trophies for so long.

But in the likes of Andrey Arshavin, Theo Walcott and Robin van Persie they do have the prospect of improvement, unlike Chelsea for instance, whose present squad appear to have reached their peak.

The possibility of what this group of players may eventually become is no doubt one of the reasons why Wenger is thought to have rejected an approach from Bayern Munich to replace Jurgen Klinsmann last week, forcing the Bundesliga giants to appoint Louis van Gaal instead.

Yet Wenger is acutely aware that not only must he retain all his key man and, in the cases of Cesc Fabregas (left) and Emmanuel Adebayor, who missed Saturday’s game with a minor groin problem, get more out of them on the big occasion, he also needs to add greater depth to his squad.

The size of their squad has ultimately been one of the key reasons why United won a third consecutive league title, part of an overall achievement Wenger believes is worthy of the highest praise.

"It is exceptional," said the Frenchman. "Congratulations to Sir Alex, what his team have done this year is fantastic.

"They were the best team. They have gone to the final of the League Cup, the semi-final of the FA Cup, the Champions League final and now they have won the league.

"The overall achievement is quite remarkable."

Belfast Telegraph


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