According to an ‘exclusive’ in the Star Sport, Manchester United approached Arsene Wenger back in 2002 over potentially taking over from Sir Alex Ferguson.
On Christmas Day 2001, the Red Devils sat in ninth position in the Premier League and Fergie announced his plan to retire. However, his wife, Cathy, apparently convinced him to stay, which he revealed in February 2002.
It was before he had this change of heart, that United apparently approached Wenger, asking him to take over after just six years at Arsenal.
The same report in the Star Sport claims that Le Professeur wasn’t on board.
This is one of those rumours that I’m 50/50 on. On one hand, Wenger was doing well at Arsenal in 2002 so it could be possible. On the other, I feel as if we would have heard about this by now and I’m doubtful that United would approach a rival manager so soon.
Either way, it doesn’t make a difference now.