Ex-Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says he is ready to take a new role in football – but has admitted for the first time he might not return to management.
Wenger ended his 22-year Gunners reign after the 2017-18 season and previously stated he intended to take charge of a new club in early 2019.
But the 69-year-old Frenchman told the BBC: “I thought I will come back into management very quickly, but I enjoyed taking a little distance.
“Now I’m at a crossroads.”
Wenger was speaking at the launch of a new partnership with a sports technology company, which he is joining as an investor and operating partner.
The firm said Wenger would be taking an “active role in business and product development” of a device housed in a football boot that analyses players’ technical, tactical and physical performance.
It will not prevent the Frenchman from resuming his career in football. However, 12 months out of work has given him a different outlook and may influence his next move.
“You will see me again in football. As a manager… I don’t know,” he said.
“In this year I did a lot of charity work, conferences – and I enjoyed it, I must say, to be a little bit less in highlights and less under stress.
“I’m less intense, but I have a better perspective of what’s going on. I see the mistakes managers make and I don’t pay the price for it.
“I came to the conclusion I want to share what I learned in my life, because I think life is only useful if, at some stage, you share what you know.
“In what way will it be? Will it be in just winning football games, or will it be in another way? That’s what I have to decide and that decision will come very quickly.
“Football is still my passion. I will come back soon – but I cannot tell you exactly in what capacity.”
Wenger won three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups after taking charge of Arsenal in 1996, becoming the north London side’s longest serving and most successful manager.
“I miss competition and I miss Arsenal because I left my heart in there,” he explained.
“I gave my life to this club for 22 years. Every minute of my life was dedicated to this club and I miss the values we developed inside the club.
“I support Arsenal. It will be forever my club.”