Arsene Wenger on why he snubbed multiple Real Madrid offers to stay at Arsenal

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Arsene Wenger was in-demand during his glory days at Arsenal.

The Frenchman guided the Gunners to their most successful ever spell, including their Invincibles season in 2003/04, their third Premier League title under his watch.

Wenger, who stepped aside in 2018, has outlined how he received several opportunities to depart the club but always opted to remain in north London.

After recently confirming he was once offered the job by Manchester United, he has now revealed why he also resisted the advances of Spanish giants Real Madrid.

Asked by BBC Sport which job he was closest to taking, Wenger replied: “Certainly Real Madrid – because you do not know many people who turned them down twice.

“And it was to stay with a team which doesn't have the resources to win the championship.

“But I told myself if I was going to go for the challenge of managing Arsenal, I would go until the end.

“You have different types of managers. I was the longest-serving manager at Monaco and the longest-serving manager at Arsenal – so it's part of my personality.”

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Towards the end of his career at Arsenal, Wenger found himself the subject of fan demonstrations demanding his exit.

But he has defended his record in the latter stages of his reign.

“I don't believe you should rate highly what a fan says in the moment – a fan says something based on the moment, based on emotions,” he said.

“Today it seems the minority has a big dictatorship. They dictate what is talked about, therefore if you have 50 people on social media being negative it can somehow get more attention than 60,000 people in a stadium.

“It doesn't mean everybody has to do what they talk about. If you look at our last three years you will see in 2016 we finished second – OK, it was behind Leicester City but every other club finished behind Leicester too and they lost only three games. In 2017 that was the first time we were not in the Champions League since 1997.

“So, yes, I wish we had maintained that record but I think this year we have a good chance in order to be back in the top four.”

  • Arsenal FC
  • Real Madrid FC
  • Arsene Wenger
  • Champions League
  • Premier League

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