Former Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon claimed he was close to luring Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger to the Santiago Bernabeu during his three-year spell in the Spanish capital.
Wenger has enjoyed 19 glorious years at Arsenal, where he has remained loyal despite ongoing interest from Real, namely under Calderon’s tenure.
Calderon was elected president in 2006 before resigning three years later and in that time the 64-year-old revealed Wenger was considering swapping London for Madrid.
In an extract from a the new book titled, Arsene Wenger: The Inside Story of Arsenal Under Wenger, Calderon said: “I imagine that anyone – be it a coach or a player – at some time in their career is interested in coming to a club like Real Madrid, especially when you have been at a club for 15 years, or however long, in England.
“Anyone working in any other industry would be interested in change. I think it’s a good idea to have a coach who has a long-term plan.
“He was talking to me about Real Madrid and, at that time, he was very interested in the club and what was happening. I remember he said: ‘Are you going to Hollywood again, or to make a football team?’ He meant are you going for film star Galacticos or to make a proper football team.
“It’s something you have in England that is a very good thing. You have it at Arsenal, you had at Manchester United, that the manager could stay at the club for a very long time. It’s impossible here.
“Things didn’t work out and he has clearly loved his time at Arsenal.”