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Chinese side Shandong deny interest in Arsene Wenger

The Frenchman will end his 22-year reign at Arsenal later this month, and has already been heavily linked with other teams.

Soccer Football - Europa League - Arsenal Training - Arsenal Training Centre, St Albans, Britain - May 2, 2018   Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger speaks to former player Robert Pires during training   Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs
MATTHEW CHILDSAction Images via Reuters

Chinese Super League (CSL) side Shandong Luneng announced that Arsene Wenger will not be taking over the team when he leaves Arsenal at the end of the season.

Last month, the Frenchman announced that he will leave the North London club at the end of the 2017-18 English Premier League season, ending his 22-year reign at Arsenal.

Wenger has already been linked to other teams, with rumours of a big money move to an unnamed Chinese club spreading like wildfire.

‘Should we prepare a welcome dinner for him?’ – Shandong

After rumours arose that Wenger could join CSL side Shandong, the club moved to dispel the gossip that the 68-year-old will replace current coach Li Xiaopeng.

‘We are surprised to learn from our friends online that Mr Wenger will be transferring to our club,’ Shandong wrote on Weibo.

‘Should we prepare a welcome dinner for him? We’re afraid the Professor won’t be a fan of our local style barbecue, so we are not inviting him over. We’re very comfortable with our own Professor Li.’

Currently, Shandong are in second place in the Chinese top-flight, just a point behind leaders Shanghai SIPG.

Wenger already experienced in Asia

A move to Asia would not be something new for the Frenchman, as he coached Nagoya Grampus in Japan before joining Arsenal in September 1996.

And in terms of a move to China, Wenger wouldn't be the first high-profile manager to do so, with World Cup winners Marcello Lippi and Luiz Felipe Scolari both having worked at CSL side Guangzhou Evergrande previously.

Others to have coached in the Asian giant include Fabio Capello, Sven-Goran Eriksson and Manuel Pellegrini.


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