WHY WENGER TURNED DOWN UNITED
ARSENE WENGER HAS revealed it was the “values” at Arsenal that persuaded him to turn down Manchester United when they asked him to replace Alex Ferguson as manager at Old Trafford. Former United chairman Martin Edwards said in his newly released autobiography that he and then-chief executive Peter Kenyon met Wenger twice to discuss replacing Ferguson after the latter announced he would retire in 2002. Wenger, at the time, was on course to lead Arsenal to their second Pre- mier League-and-FA Cup double in five years. “He was my No. 1 choice,” wrote Edwards, adding, “For a while we thought there was a possibility of him joining us. But he felt he had started something with Arsenal and that his attachment to the club was too great.” Confirming Edwards’ recollection Wenger said he turned United down “because I love the values of this club and, for me, a club is about values first. You speak about United, the evolution in the last 20 years – very interesting. But when I came here this club was about values that I love in sport. So I questioned myself. ‘Yes United is attractive but am I happy here?’ The answer was ‘yes’,” he said.