Arsene Wenger turned down the chance of making a sensational Premier League return with Fulham before the Cottagers appointed Claudio Ranieri.
Fulham confirmed on Wednesday morning that Ranieri has succeeded Slavisa Jokanovic, who has paid the price for the club’s terrible Premier League start that sees them bottom of the table. In their statement confirming Ranieri’s appointment, Fulham confirmed they had considered and spoken to a number of candidates and Telegraph Sport can reveal one was Wenger.
But Wenger politely declined the opportunity to speak to Fulham, sticking to his vow not to manager another Premier League club after leaving Arsenal.
It is understood Wenger is waiting for the right opportunity abroad, with Bayern Munich likely to be a job that would interest the Frenchman if it became available. Bayern are currently fifth in the Bundesliga table, seven points behind Borussia Dortmund, who they lost to last weekend.
Fulham owner Shahid Khan gets on well with Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke, who would have given Wenger a glowing reference despite his departure from the Emirates.
Kroenke has always been a big fan of Wenger, despite finally agreeing the time was right for the 69-year-old to leave Arsenal last summer.
In their statement on Ranieri, Fulham wrote: “Khan said he and his son Tony Khan, Vice Chairman and Director of Football Operations at FFC, considered and spoke with a number of potential candidates within the past week, with Ranieri becoming their mutual and obvious choice. Tony Khan and his staff will continue to oversee First Team player recruitment and contractual agreements, and he will work closely with Ranieri.”