Arsene Wenger is supportive of Gareth Southgate as England manager but has left the door open to taking the role in the future.
Wenger has regularly been linked with leading the Three Lions but instead stayed put at Arsenal, where his 22-year tenure will end after Sunday’s match at Huddersfield Town.
The 68-year-old has yet to confirm his next move, with Paris Saint-Germain reportedly interested in appointing him to a general manager position.
But Wenger indicated international management could yet be on the agenda, although he would like to see Southgate remain with England beyond his current contract, which expires in 2020.
“Will I manage England one day? I don’t know, honestly,” Wenger told reporters on Thursday.
“I had the opportunity, but at the moment I am behind England and behind Gareth Southgate and hopefully he will stay for 22 years.”
— Héctor Bellerín (@HectorBellerin) May 6, 2018
Wenger’s long spell at Arsenal has seen big changes in the world of football and the veteran Frenchman has predicted the development of a European division in the near future.
“The next evolution? Maybe I will see you in a few years and you will have certainly a European league over the weekends,” Wenger said.
“The domestic league will play certainly Tuesday and Wednesday. I think that’s the next step – we will see.”
“I can leave a club where I can be proud of what’s behind me. There’s a fantastic structure and conditions for the next manager. I think I’ve been a little part of this club’s history and I’m proud of that.”#MerciArsène pic.twitter.com/ZlRepsD9UB
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) May 10, 2018
Former Arsenal players Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry are among the names linked with replacing Wenger, while Luis Enrique and Massimiliano Allegri also reportedly in contention.
Wenger says his successor cannot be afraid to bring fresh ideas to Arsenal, who have missed out on Champions League qualification in each of the past two seasons.
“The advice I would give to him is to give his best and respect the values of the club,” he added. “This club is respected all over the world and I would just like him to bring his own ideas.
“It will be a different speech, a different way to see the game and that is a chance as well for the players to see something different. But as well I would say to respect what has been built here and what people care about.
“You see on Sunday when you speak about the goodbye I had with the fans is that some of the fans won’t agree always with my decisions but I think they respected one thing – that I was honest, loyal and committed to the values of the club. And I would like my successor to do that as well.”
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