PSG may approach Arsene Wenger over general manager role

Posted Saturday, January 26, 2019 by

PSG may approach Arsene Wenger over general manager role
Paris Saint-Germain plan to give Arsene Wenger 'free rein' in a general manager role, French football expert Jonathan Johnson tells the Transfer Talk podcast

Arsene Wenger could replace under-pressure PSG sporting director Antero Henrique this summer, says French football expert Jonathan Johnson.

Johnson told the Transfer Talk podcast Henrique is expected to be axed at the Parc des Princes after PSG lost out on signing Frenkie de Jong, who instead chose to join La Liga leaders Barcelona for an initial £65m.

And he said Wenger, who has been linked with a move to his native capital in both a management and an executive capacity since he left Arsenal last summer, could be in the frame to replace Henrique.

He said: "It could happen, but it wouldn't be as sporting director - more of a general management role. Obviously that includes the responsibilities which come with being a sporting director, but Wenger would be given free rein behind the scenes, particularly with regards to the club's youth academy.

"What PSG have always envisaged with Wenger - in the past, they wanted him as a coach - but now they prefer him as a member of the staff. They want the respectability, the prestige that comes with somebody like Wenger.

PSG may approach Arsene Wenger over general manager role
Wenger has been without a job since he left Arsenal after 22 years in May

"He has a very good relationship with PSG's Qatari owners and they want someone whose behaviour earns them respect off the pitch and he is someone they've wanted to work with for a long time. Since his exit from Arsenal, it's seemed increasingly like the right moment to act.

"Obviously with Enrique in place, it has been hard for PSG to just sack him and appoint Wenger, especially as Wenger wanted some time off, and up until the end of 2018 prioritised a return to coaching."

In October, Wenger said he expected to be ready to return to football this month, but he is yet to find a new role after more than two decades with Arsenal.

Even so, Johnson said there was no guarantee the Frenchman would be open to a role at the runaway Ligue 1 leaders, or that they would approach him.

He said: "If Wenger is not a source of interest, there are other options out there for PSG, the likes of Monchi at Roma. PSG would like to work with Wenger at some point in the future, and interestingly Wenger has met with PSG coach Thomas Tuchel a couple of times and had conversations with the PSG squad, so there is definitely something in that.

"It's a question of whether Wenger would be keen to take up a general management role as opposed to an actual coaching one, but there definitely is interest from PSG to work with Arsene Wenger in the future."

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