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Bayern Munich turn down Wenger after ex-Arsenal boss phones to express his interest

The German champions have ruled out appointing the Frenchman as a replacement for Niko Kovac.

Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.
Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

Updated Thu 5:45 PM

BAYERN MUNICH HAVE turned down an approach from Arsene Wenger to take over the vacant manager’s position following the sacking of Niko Kovac, the German champions said today. 

“Arsene Wenger called [Bayern chairman] Karl-Heinz Rummenigge on Wednesday afternoon to make him aware of his interest in the job,” a Bayern spokesperson told AFP subsidiary SID.

“Bayern appreciates Wenger’s work at Arsenal, but he is not being considered as coach.”

Kovac was dismissed at the weekend following a poor run of form that culminated in a 5-1 thrashing at the hands of Eintracht Frankfurt, Bayern’s worst Bundesliga defeat in a decade and one which left them fourth in the table.

Kovac’s assistant Hansi Flick has taken over as interim coach as Bayern search for a more permanent replacement, with club president Uli Hoeness saying on Tuesday they expected to name Kovac’s successor by 23 November.

However they have been publicly rebuffed by both Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel and Ajax’s Erik ten Hag, who said on Monday he would be staying with the Dutch champions until at least the end of the season.

Speaking in his role as a pundit for beIN SPORTS, the 70-year-old Wenger had revealed he had come close to taking the job in the past and could not rule out the move.

“I’d never refuse to talk to Bayern Munich because I have known the people who lead the club for 30 years,” he said.

“I was nearly going to Bayern a long, long time ago. At the moment, that’s all I can say. At the moment, I haven’t talked to them at all.”

Asked if talks could follow, Wenger replied: “I don’t know. We haven’t talked to each other and I don’t know.”

He added: “I want to just do what I like now. I’ve not decided yet if I will go back [to coach] on the pitch or not. I’m quite happy with what I’m doing but I miss the pitch as well.

“It’s a difficult decision for me at the moment. I will make that decision in the coming days or in the coming weeks.”

Wenger coached in his native France, with Nancy and Monaco, and then in Japan, with Nagoya Grampus, before a 22-year stay at Arsenal from 1996.

The Frenchman won three Premier League titles, enjoying a rivalry with Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United, but struggled to repeat this success following the club’s move to Emirates Stadium.

Wenger departed at the end of the 2017-18 season to be replaced by Unai Emery.

- Originally published at 08.04

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