Arsene Wenger reveals why he turned down Real Madrid 'more than once'

Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admits his chances of ever being Real Madrid boss are “over”.

But the former Arsenal manager says he has no regrets over turning down the La Liga giants while he was at the Emirates.

Wenger stepped down as Arsenal boss last year after nearly 22 years as manager, having led the Gunners to three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups while he was in the hotseat.

During his time at Arsenal he was approached by Real Madrid to take the reins at the Bernabeu – several times, he says – but turned the Spanish superclub down to focus on the project at Arsenal.

In an interview with beIN SPORTS, it was put to Wenger that he had once turned down Real.

The 69-year-old said: “I turned Madrid down more than once.

“Now it’s over for me. But you ask any manager in the world, they would be interested in managing the biggest club in the world. Everyone would say it’s the biggest club in the world.”

Wenger said he wanted to stay at Arsenal during a period when the club moved from its old Highbury home to the now 60,000-capacity Emirates Stadium.

(Image: Getty Images)

Asked whether loyalty had stopped him from upping sticks to Spain, the Frenchman said: “Yes. It was in the middle of a project.

“We built the stadium, we had to pay it back, and I guaranteed that I would stay, and I’m quite happy with my decision.”

Wenger left Arsenal last year amid discontent from many fans that the Gunners were no longer challenging for the Premier League title, and had failed to finish in the top four since 2016.

He was replaced by Unai Emery, who has had an underwhelming campaign so far as Arsenal boss. Arsenal face BATE Borisov in Belarus on Thursday night in their first-leg clash in the Europa League round of 32.