London (AFP) – Arsene Wenger said Tuesday he has been surprised at the number of job offers he has received since his departure from Arsenal was announced, urging the club to appoint his successor as soon as possible.
The Frenchman will step down as Gunners boss after Sunday’s Premier League trip to Huddersfield, with Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri reportedly the first choice of the Arsenal board as his replacement.
Wenger will leave after almost 22 years at the helm and was handed an emotional tribute from the club following Sunday’s 5-0 defeat of Burnley, his final game in charge at the Emirates Stadium.
The 68-year-old has said he will take a break from football before deciding on his next move but revealed on Tuesday he has not been short of suitors since last month’s surprise announcement.
Asked if he had received any offers, Wenger replied: “Yes, more than I expected!
“At the moment I focus on doing my job well. I didn’t analyse anything or consider anything. I want to work well until the last day of my contract, and then after, I will rest a little bit and go from there.”
Allegri, who is set to deliver a fourth successive Serie A title with Juventus, is reportedly the frontrunner but Carlo Ancelotti and Luis Enrique, both currently out of work, have been linked with the job.
“I think the earlier, the better,” Wenger said when asked if an appointment should be made ahead of the World Cup, but he refused to be drawn on who he favoured.
“People want hope and they need as well to prepare for the next season. I must say the squad doesn’t need much, because there’s a huge potential in there.
“There’s a good spirit, a good basis. It needs two or three additions and this team will compete for the championship next year.”
Arsenal’s last two games of the season come on the road, with the club yet to take a point away from home since the turn of the year.
Wenger is set to depart with the club finishing in sixth, the lowest position of his reign, and with no silverware following their Europa League semi-final exit at the hands of Atletico Madrid last week.
Captain Laurent Koscielny was carried off on a stretcher early on in Thursday’s 1-0 defeat in Spain and Wenger confirmed the 32-year-old is “devastated” as he faces up to six months on the sidelines with a ruptured Achilles.