Arsenal approached Manuel Pellegrini to be their new manager, with Arsene Wenger becoming Director of Football, according to reports from Chile.
Arsenal reportedly planned to move Arsene Wenger upstairs into a sporting director role and replace him with the Chilean.
That’s according to Chilean paper El Mercurio (via Radio Agricultura), who claim that negotiations occurred between Arsenal and Pellegrini at some unspecified point in time.
However, Pellegrini turned down the move as he wanted to honour his current contract with Chinese Super League side Hebei China Fortune.
There were reports throughout last season of Arsenal talking to various managers as Arsene Wenger’s contract ran down.
This particular report, though, sounds highly suspicious, especially as it mentions that it was Stan Kroenke and Alisher Usmanov who spoke with Pellegrini.
Kroenke is an unabashed Wenger supporter and is the reason behind his new two year contract, while Usmanov has no say on club matters despite the number of shares he owns.
The idea that either of them were sounding out a new manager is, frankly, ludicrous.
Wenger moving into a director of football role has been mentioned before, but also seems unlikely given Wenger’s opposition to the role.
Manuel Pellegrini recently spent three seasons with Manchester City, winning the Premier League and two League Cups before he was replaced by Pep Guardiola.
He managed his first game at Hebei China Fortune one year ago today, against Guangzhou Evergrande.
They lost, 3-0.