Mikel Arteta wants his former boss Arsene Wenger back at Arsenal, after revealing initial talks have taken place.
The Frenchman was sacked as manager in May 2018 after 22 years in charge. He now works for world governing body FIFA as their head of global football development and has kept his distance from Arsenal — previously saying he did not want to cast ‘a shadow’.
However, steps are now being taken to explore whether Wenger could become involved with his former club once more. It was at the premiere of the Arsene Wenger: Invincible docu-film where Arteta took the chance to strike up a conversation about the club icon returning in an advisory role.
Current manager Mikel Arteta (above) wants his former boss Arsene Wenger back at Arsenal
‘There’s been a communication,’ said Arteta, whose Arsenal side host Newcastle United on Saturday. ‘I talked to him when we went to see the film and it was incredibly pleasant to see him and chat to him and hopefully we can bring him close.
‘I think he would have a great time just seeing the environment he can create around him when he is around this place because of the respect, admiration and the love everybody at the club has for what he’s done and for what he represents as a person at this club.’
The Frenchman was sacked as manager in May 2018 after 22 years in charge of the club
Arteta, who played under Wenger, revealed that initial talks had taken place with him
Arteta declined to explain exactly what position the 72-year-old would hold but added: ‘I cannot tell you now, but what I can say is that I would like him to be much closer to me personally because I think it would be a great help. I think it would be a great help for the club.
‘Things take time and I think he has to dictate those timings. What I can say from my side and on behalf of everybody is that we would be delighted to have him much closer.’
Wenger won three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups as Arsenal manager. He also made Arteta captain in 2014.
He also signed Edu, who is now the club’s sporting director, and Per Mertesacker, the academy manager. Wenger’s final years in charge were plagued by fan protests, however.
It was at the premiere of the Arsene Wenger: Invincible docu-film where Arteta took the chance to strike up a conversation about the club icon returning in an advisory role
Wenger won three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups as Arsenal manager (above)
In his position with FIFA, which he landed in 2019, Wenger has been working on the controversial proposal of a biennial World Cup which would shake up the international football calendar.
Despite his new role at FIFA, Wenger has never ruled out a return to management, hinting it would most likely be in charge of a national team.
‘I’m crazy enough to be crazy and to make a crazy decision,’ he said previously. ‘But I’m determined at the moment not to do it. Maybe a national team at some stage. But at the moment I’m involved in projects with FIFA and I want to go to the end with it and that’s, for me, more useful now.’