Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has dropped a major hint his legendary predecessor Arsene Wenger will be returning to the Emirates in the near future.
The Frenchman won three Premier League titles, seven FA Cups and the Community Shield seven times during his 22-year reign at the club.
Wenger left Arsenal in 2018 after thousands of supporters demanded for him to be relieved of his duties, despite his years of service.
The Gunners haven’t qualified for the Champions League since his departure, with successor Unai Emery lasting just 18 months in charge.
And current manager Mikel Arteta, who played under Wenger at the Emirates between 2011 and 2016, is keen to welcome him back to the club.
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“Hopefully we can bring him close, he will have a great time around this place,” said Arteta at his Thursday press conference.
“I can not tell you now, but he would be a great help for the club. Things take time. We would be delighted to have him much closer.”
Wenger has not managed since leaving Arsenal and is currently FIFA’s chief of global football development, promoting the idea of a biennial World Cup.
He’s never formerly retired from coaching and refused to rule out a return to the training pitch when asked.
“I’m crazy enough to be crazy and to make a crazy decision,” Wenger has said. “But I’m determined at the moment not to do it, maybe a national team at some stage.
“But at the moment I’m involved in projects with FIFA and I want to go to the end with it and that’s for me more useful now.”
Arteta’s comments come just two weeks after he told reporters he’d like to welcome Wenger back into the fold.
“If it was not for him I would not be in the position I am today and I wouldn’t have enjoyed the career I had,” he said earlier this month.
“I was still young and I had my ideas, but he was a different level of inspiration on how I looked at the game.
“He was very good at being able to transmit what a football club meant into the players and he put different question marks on me. That is why I started to study and take coaching much more seriously.
“I would like him to be more present at the club. I think the players would love him, benefit, and be inspired to have him around and I think for the club it would be a huge boost.
“It was so intense for him for over 20 years and you need to get away a little bit, but I think it would be so beneficial for all parties to have him more present.”
Arsenal’s next Premier League game is against Newcastle at the Emirates on Saturday.
The Gunners are looking to bounce back from their 4-0 defeat to Liverpool last weekend, while Newcastle are hoping to record their first league win this term.