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20th Jul 2018

Arsene Wenger linked with return to management with Japan

Simon Lloyd

Arsene Wenger, you may have heard, is out of work

This may not be the case for too much longer, however.

Having finally called time on his 22-year spell as Arsenal boss at the end of last season, several reports have linked Wenger with a swift return to management. Amongst others, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain were reportedly considering the 68-year-old, only to eventually settle on appointing Julen Lopetegui and Thomas Tuchel respectively.

On Friday, Wenger’s name was linked with a new role. According to a report in the Daily Mail, he’s now in the frame to become the new manager of Japan – so much so that he’s described as their number one target for the position.

Wenger is well regarded in Japan, where he managed Nagoya Grampus Eight prior to becoming Arsenal boss. He’s now seen as the ideal candidate to take charge of their national side following their run to the World Cup last 16 stage.

Having overseeing the team’s qualification for Russia, Vahid Halilhodzic was sacked just two months before the tournament kicked off. His replacement, Akira Nishino, was only appointed on a short-term basis.

Despite interest from the Japanese FA, Wenger is said to be keen to return to club management and is therefore likely to reject the opportunity. However, as the report points out, his affection for Japan could persuade him to have a stab at international management.