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.


talkSPORT exclusive: Tom Cairney hopes Ryan Sessegnon stays at Fulham as captain commits future to Cottagers

6 Jul

Fulham captain Tom Cairney hopes Ryan Sessegnon’s head won’t be turned away from the club ahead of 2018/19 season.

The Cottagers will play in the Premier League for the first time since the 2013/14 season after Cairney’s strike secured a 1-0 win over Aston Villa in the Championship play-off final in May.

Fulham will play Premier League football next season

And Cairney finally put to rest any speculation surrounding his future at the club by signing a new five-year deal.

They won promotion to England’s top flight after going on a good run during the second half of last season.

At the centre of the charge was teenage sensation Sessegnon, who has scored 16 goals as well as providing eight assists for Fulham so far.

The 18-year-old has been linked with a move to some of the Premier League’s top clubs this summer, while Ryan Fredericks made the move across London to West Ham.

Sessegnon laid on the assist for Cairney’s goal in the Championship play-off final

But Cairney is hoping the Cottagers’ dressing room doesn’t get broken up too much.

Speaking to talkSPORT’s Jim White on Bob Mills, Cairney said: “I’m hoping he [Sessegnon] stays and I’m hoping a lot more of our players stay.

“I think it’s important to keep the squad together in the dressing room that got promoted to the Premier League.”

On signing a new deal as well as Fulham’s chances for next season, Cairney added: “I’m delighted to get the deal done.

“Last season was a bit of a crazy season. We went on that run and we finished it with what was probably the best day of my career at Wembley.

“We need to bring in other players because everyone knows just how hard it is to stay in this league.”

“I know I’m biased but in my opinion we played the best football over the last two seasons. We played Premier League football in the Championship which is not easy to do.

“I hope that we turn a few heads and do ourselves justice in the way that we play. Results are the most important thing but I really want us to stick to our philosophy and take a few teams on.

Fulham FC news: Tom Cairney signs five-year contract with Cottagers

5 Jul

Fulham captain Tom Cairney has committed his future to the newly-promoted Premier League club by signing a five-year deal.

The 27-year-old, who was the subject of speculation linking him with a move away from Craven Cottage, will remain at the club until the summer of 2023.

Cairney played an integral role in Fulham’s promotion to the Premier League last season, scoring the winner in the play-off final against Aston Villa at Wembley.

He told Fulham’s official website: “I’m obviously delighted to extend my contract, it’s all I’ve wanted to do, and I’m just buzzing to get the season under way.

“Premier League football is back at the Cottage and it’s great to be part of the squad that got us there again.”

Fulham reject £20m West Ham bid for midfielder Tom Cairney

22 Jun

Fulham have reportedly turned down a £20m West Ham bid for their captain Tom Cairney.

According to Sky, Manuel Pellegrini’s side are back chasing the midfielder after missing out on him in January.

Cairney celebrates his play-off final winner

However, Fulham appear to be far from happy to let one of their star players leave as they prepare for their first season back in the Premier League.

The Cottagers finished third in the Championship last season and were promoted through the play-offs, with Cairney scoring the winning goal against Aston Villa in the final.

Cairney was said to be keen on the West Ham move when it was first mooted back in January, though this may have changed now his current club have been promoted.

The Hammers have also been linked with moves for Joaquin Correa, Jack Wilshere and Jean Michael Seri as they look to bolster their midfield.

So far they have signed Issa Diop, Lukasz Fabianski and Ryan Fredericks.