Former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger ‘turns down chance to manage Fulham for second time’

6 May

Arsene Wenger has turned down the chance of a managerial return with Championship-bound Fulham for a second time, it has been claimed.

The Frenchman, 69, has been out of work since the end of his 22-year spell in charge of Arsenal last May.

Arsene Wenger has been on Fulham’s radar before

He was linked with the Real Madrid job earlier this season, while Fulham tried to tempt him back into football before hiring Claudio Ranieri in November.

The Daily Mail claim the Cottagers want to appoint a big-name manager to permanently replace Ranieri, who was sacked in February, and have been unsuccessful in asking Wenger to take the reins in the Championship.

Scott Parker has been in temporary charge since the Italian’s departure, but could not prevent the club’s swift return to the second tier.

The former Chelsea and West Ham midfielder oversaw three successive Premier League wins before suffering a 1-0 defeat to Wolves on Saturday.

It is understood that Fulham are willing to give Parker the job on a full-time basis if they fail to attract a high-profile manager.

Scott Parker has impressed in caretaker charge of Fulham

And the 38-year-old has the backing of club captain Tom Cairney.

He said: “I’ve said for a long time that I think Scott has done an incredible job and, in my eyes, I think he is the right man for the job.

“The way he has got us playing in such a short space of time, in the hardest league in the world, is a credit to him.

“I believe he is the man to take us forward so we’ll see.”

In February, Wenger, who won three Premier League titles with Arsenal, remained unsure over when he would return to the dugout.

He said: “My future is unknown – even for me.

“I enjoy daily life now and I have been travelling a lot recently all over the world.

“I am enjoying a little bit less pressure, and more freedom as well. But I miss the competition.”

Arsenal transfer news: Unai Emery wants Fulham captain Tom Cairney, but lack of Champions League football has diminished finances

31 Oct

Tom Cairney is an Arsenal transfer target, but the move appears unlikely to happen because of financial constraints in place at the Emirates.

Failure to qualify for the Champions League in back-to-back seasons has seen manager Unai Emery’s transfer purse strings tighten – with British talent also at a premium.

The Scot is currently out injured with a troublesome ankle injury picked up in August

The Fulham captain is one of a number of homegrown talents being looked at by the Gunners, but his value is deemed too pricey.

According to the Daily Mailnew head of recruitment Sven Mislintat has been shocked at the valuations of the young talent from the UK.

In fact, the German is reportedly focusing his attention on recruiting young players from abroad instead in order to be more cost-effective.

Failing to qualify for the Champions League in consecutive seasons has also limited the club for two reasons; the lack of pulling power afforded to the north Londoners and a reduced revenue stream as a result of failing to qualify.

Cairney is the skipper of Fulham, and Slavisa Jokanovic’s right-hand man

West Ham United tried to sign the Scotland international in the summer, but saw their bid of £20million rejected.

Cairney’s Fulham teammate Ryan Sessegnon was also linked with lucrative moves to the biggest clubs in the Premier League over the summer, but Cairney told talkSPORT back in July it was vital to keep as much of the squad which got the Whites out of the Championship into the same side.

The Gunners have not signed a homegrown player since Rob Holding from Bolton Wanderers in 2016, with Danny Welbeck’s move from Manchester United two years prior the only other British player to sign for the club in the past four years.