Arsene Wenger reveals he nearly quit Arsenal
Frenchman considered resigning before agreeing two-year extension
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed that he considered quitting the North London club this summer for "personal reasons".
Wenger, who has been in charge at Arsenal for 21 years, told French television station Telefoot that he was under pressure to resign after missing out on qualification to the Champions League. He signed a two-year extension in May.
According to The Independent, Wenger told Telefoot: "Yes, I hesitated to extend for personal reasons. I've been at Arsenal for 20 years, and I'm wondering if I should continue to lead the club. We went quite badly during the season."
After taking lots of flak during the summer, the new season has started even worse for Arsenal and again there have been calls for Wenger to resign. The 4-0 loss at Liverpool and missing out on signing Thomas Lemar from Monaco have not helped his cause. Lemar was lined up as a replacement for Alexis Sanchez who is out of contract at the end of the season.
Despite Lemar rejecting the Gunners, Wenger says that the club will make a new bid for the 21-year-old winger. "We bid €100 million [£92m] for Lemar but the player wanted to stay in Monaco," said Wenger.
"We'll come back in for him. When you let go of a player [Alexis Sanchez] of that calibre, you have to have a substitute, otherwise no one would understand that choice."
In the interview Wenger also hailed Paris Saint-Germain's new signing Kylian Mbappe saying he "can be the new Pele". Mbappe was a target for Arsenal, but his transfer fee was too high.
"I wanted Mbappe too, but €180million [£165.7m] is too much for us," said Wenger. "But he is a guy that makes a difference. Ninety per cent of the players depend on the team, but he falls in the other 10 per cent.
"There is no limit, he can be the new Pele."