Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has confirmed he has held surprise talks with his predecessor Arsene Wenger about having him back at London Colney.
The Spaniard didn’t confirm what kind of capacity he would have Wenger back in but says that he’s been in conversation with his former mentor, after admitting at the launch of Arsene Wenger: Invincible how much he’d like to have the Frenchman back around the club.
Wenger managed Arsenal from 1996 to 2018, signing Arteta in 2011 from Everton. Arteta admitted the other day that it was Wenger that made him want to get into management.
“There’s been communication. 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,” the Arsenal boss said.
“I think he would have a great time just seeing the environment that he can create around him when he’s around this place because of the respect, admiration and the love that everybody at the club has for what he’s done and as well as for what he represents as a person at this club.”
Wenger has not been back to the Emirates Stadium since leaving three years ago.
Arsenal hired Unai Emery as his direct successor but Arteta has been managing the side since Emery’s sacking in 2019. Though Arteta didn’t say what kind of capacity he’d like to see the Frenchman in, he said that Wenger would be a big help for him personally.
“I cannot tell you now, but what I can say is that I would like him to be much closer, personally, to me because I think it would be a great help, I think it would be a great help for the club,” he said.
“Things take time and I think he has to dictate those timings. What I can say is from my side and I can say, I think, on behalf of everybody is that we would be delighted to have him much closer.”