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Former Arsenal boss Wenger plots return to football

68-year-old, who spent more than two decades in north London, says he feels ‘rested’ and ‘ready to work again’

18 October, 2018 — By Steve Barnett

Arsene Wenger: ‘From my 22 years at Arsenal, I have big experience on different levels. There are enquiries from all over the world’

FORMER Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has revealed he is ready to return to football in January.

The 68-year-old, who spent more than two decades in north London, says he has received “enquiries from all over the world”, and feels re-energised and ready to take up a new challenge.

“There are associations, national teams, it could be in Japan. I believe that I will start again on January 1st,” said the Frenchman, who joined the Gunners from Japanese club Nagoya Grampus Eight in 1996.

“From my 22 years at Arsenal, I have big experience on different levels. There are enquiries from all over the world.”

Wenger has been linked to a boardroom position at French giants Paris Saint-Germain, as well as the Japan head coach job, but he explained it is still too early to know just what his next role will hold.

“I feel rested and am ready to work again,” he said. “But where? I don’t know yet.”

Mesut Ozil

Wenger wouldn’t be Wenger without having some kind of view connected to Arsenal. On this occasion he said he felt Mesut Ozil, who called time on his international career following a disappointing World Cup, would “lose” something from his game if he didn’t return to play for Germany.

The Arsenal midfielder quit international football in the summer, citing the “racism and disrespect” he has faced in Germany over his Turkish roots.

Wenger, however, feels that Germany still need the playmaker.

“I believe that Germany needs Ozil. I hope that [Germany boss] Joachim Low can convince him that he will come back,” he said. “Ozil is a super football player, who was not the worst in the World Cup. I did not love that he left the German national team. I love it when the players are as good as possible. He loses a bit if he does not play at an international level.”

Meanwhile, Arsenal are sweating on the fitness of centre-back Sokratis Papastathopoulos ahead of their return to Premier League action against Leicester City.

Sokratis came off at half-time in Greece’s 2-1 defeat to Finland on Monday with what appeared to be an ankle problem, making him a doubt for Monday night’s game at the Emirates Stadium.

The defender will be assessed by the Gunners medical team when he returns to England, while Danny Welbeck and Petr Cech will also be monitored this week ahead of possible returns from hamstring problems.

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