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Evergrande has Wenger on radar

China Daily | Updated: 2018-10-19 09:31
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Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who has revealed he will return to coaching in January, is reportedly mulling an offer from Chinese Super League giant Guangzhou Evergrande. REUTERS

Chinese Super League giant Guangzhou Evergrande has attracted some big names to its ranks over the years, but the reigning CSL champion could be about to eclipse them all with the signing of Arsenal legend Arsene Wenger.

The Frenchman, who ended his 22-year reign as Gunners manager in May, has revealed he will return to coaching in January and is weighing offers from "all over the world".

British media has reported that one of his suitors is Evergrande, claiming the Guangdong province club is offering him a two-year deal worth a whopping $10 million.

Evergrande, though, faces stiff competition for Wenger's signature.

Paris Saint-Germain reportedly wants to add him to Thomas Tuchel's management team, while Real Madrid could enter the mix, with coach Julen Lopetegui's position looking precarious following the Spanish giant's shaky start to the season.

Wenger has also been linked with helming the Japanese national team.

"I believe I will start again on January 1, but I don't know where yet," Wenger told German newspaper Bild in an interview published on Wednesday.

"There are associations, national teams, it could be also in Japan," added the 68-yearold, who coached Japanese club Nagoya Grampus before joining Arsenal.

"From my 22 years at Arsenal, I have big experience on different levels. There are enquiries from all over the world."

Evergrande is currently managed by Fabio Cannavaro, but the former Italian World Cup winner's second stint at the club since succeeding Luiz Felipe Scolari last November has not gone smoothly.

Evergrande's seven-year grip on the CSL trophy is slipping, with Shanghai SIPG four points clear in the title race with four games left.

Club owner Xu Jiayin threatened a squad clearout before the World Cup break, and failure to maintain Evergrande's dominance could see Cannavaro also shown the door.

Acquiring Wenger, who won three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups in London, would be a massive coup for Evergrande, and would significantly boost the club's pulling power as well lifting the global profile of the CSL.

Meanwhile, Wenger has weighed in on the debate over one of his former Arsenal charges, German playmaker Mesut Ozil.

Ozil, who is of Turkish descent, announced the end of his international career shortly after returning from the World Cup in Russia, citing "racism and disrespect" as his reasons.

However, Wenger said of the 30-year-old: "I believe that Germany needs Ozil. I hope (manager) Joachim Loew can convince him that he will come back.

"Ozil is a super player, was not the worst in the World Cup. I did not love that he left the German national team.

"I love it when the players are as good as possible. He loses a bit if he does not play at an international level."

Reuters contributed to this story.

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