'Wenger was very interested in Real Madrid'

The Frenchman has been at Arsenal since 1996 but, according to ex-Blancos president Ramon Calderon, previously considered moving to the Bernabeu

Arsene Wenger was once “very interested” in leaving Arsenal for Real Madrid, according to the Spanish club’s former president, Ramon Calderon.

The Frenchman has spent the the last 19 years in charge of the Gunners but has been linked with Madrid on several occasions throughout his tenure.

Though the speculation has never come to fruition, Calderon says there was a time when Wenger gave serious consideration to a fresh start at the Bernabeu.

He said: “I imagine that anyone – be it a coach or a player – at some time in their career is interested in coming to a club like Real Madrid, especially when you have been at a club for 15 years, or however long, in England.

“Anyone working in any other industry would be interested in change. I think it’s a good idea to have a coach who has a long-term plan.

“He was talking to me about Real Madrid and, at that time, he was very interested in the club and what was happening. I remember he said: ‘Are you going to Hollywood again, or to make a football team?’ He meant are you going for film-star Galacticos or to make a proper football team.

“It’s something you have in England that is a very good thing. You have it at Arsenal, you had at Manchester United [with Alex Ferguson], that the manager could stay at the club for a very long time. It’s impossible here.”

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