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Ex-Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger ‘turns down offer to manage Barcelona’

Arsene Wenger has turned down the opportunity to become Barcelona manager, according to reports. 

The ex-Arsenal boss has not taken a manager’s role since leaving the Gunners in 2018 after 22 years in charge of the north London club.

But according to French news outlet Le10sport, the LaLiga giants approached Wenger over the possibility of becoming their new coach after losing trust in current coach Quique Setien – but the Frencham rejected the offer after discussing the Barcelona project. 

The 70-year-old took up the role as governing body FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development in November of last year and admitted he wants to commit to this role. 

Wenger told Europe 1 recently: ‘Every day, I want to train, I’ve been doing it all my life. 

‘But can I get back into it? I cannot do things by halves, so I am asking myself the question. 

‘It will have to be under conditions that I consider optimal. Otherwise, I will not do it.

‘I want to create at Fifa the most efficient analysis centre in the world. I know it’s very ambitious, but you will see that at the 2022 World Cup we will produce match analysis which will be extremely effective.’  

Wenger faced Barcelona nine times while Arsenal manager, with his only win coming via a 2-1 victory in the Champions League last-16 stage in 2011. 

The six losses to the LaLiga giants included the painful defeat by Barcelona in the 2006 Champions League final. 

The Frenchman was linked with a move to Barcelona in 2017 when Luis Enrique was manager, but dismissed reports of a switch due to his commitments with the Gunners.

Meanwhile, the pressure is growing on Setien after a difficult few months for Barcelona.

They lost the league tile to arch rivals Real Madrid this summer and their only hope of silverware rests in a tricky Champions League campaign over the next few days.

Barcelona take on a rampant Bayern Munich side at the quarter-final stage on Friday night, with the Bundesliga giants already lifting the German league and cup double so far this season.

The winner of that encounter will take on Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City or French side Lyon in the semi-finals. 

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