The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Real ‘offer’ for Wenger
- Proposal to Arsenal coach does not bother me: Vicente del Bosque

Madrid: Real Madrid were reported Wednesday to have offered Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger a three-year contract worth 12 million euros.

Wenger admitted Tuesday he had talks with Real officials but said he had two years left of his contract with Arsenal.

But the ABC daily said that sources close to the club claim that a three-year contract is in place.

The paper said it was the fifth time Wenger had met Real officials and the club is waiting on the Frenchman to make a decision.

Arsenal said Tuesday they were “not perturbed” by rumours that Wenger held talks with Real club president Florentino Perez, director of sport Jorge Valdano in a private room at the Plaza Athenee hotel in Paris last week.

“Arsene himself has reiterated his commitment to the club on a number of occasions and we see no reason to pass further comment on the subject,” the club said.

Wenger admitted he saw “a lot of people on Friday” and pointedly did not deny the meeting but the Real officials denied any such tete-a-tete.

Wenger might be put off by lack of control over transfers as signings for the Spanish giants are overseen by Valdano.

Current Real coach Vicente del Bosque has pleaded for a central defender for the last three years only to see the club sign forwards Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane and Ronaldo.

But Real would be keen to snap up Gunners’ captain Patrick Vieira if Wenger opted for the Spanish giants.

Del Bosque unfazed

Del Bosque, however, has said he is unconcerned by reports saying the club has approached Wenger.

“I am not a beginner at this,” Del Bosque told Spanish radio station Cadena Ser on Wednesday. “The (newspaper) reports may be true or false, although I doubt if they (the club) will have talked to Wenger.

“It doesn’t bother me, though, and I will just continue working normally until the end of the season and do all I can to help Real win the league title.”

Club president Florentino Perez hinted last month that he would extend the 52-year-old’s contract but the matter now appears to have been put on hold until the end of the season.

Del Bosque was subjected to heavy criticism from the Spanish press following his side’s defeat by Juventus in the semi-finals of the Champions League and there has been widespread speculation that the club has been sounding out other coaches.

“What is important are the interests of Real Madrid,” said Del Bosque. “Whether it is me or someone else in charge, Real need an efficient coach who can run the squad well and who is capable of winning as many titles as possible.”

The unassuming former player has steered Real to two European Cups, a Spanish championship, a World Club Cup and a European Super Cup since taking over from John Toshack in November 1999.

With three games left to play, Real lie in second place in the league, one point behind leaders Real Sociedad as they seek to recapture the championship they last won two seasons ago.

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