Bayern Munich have reportedly turned their attention elsewhere in their search for a new manager after passing on Arsene Wenger.
It’s understood Wenger was interested in succeeding Niko Kovac, but Bayern ultimately turned down the opportunity to hire the former Arsenal manager, according to Christian Falk of German outlet Bild.
The decision was made after chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge discussed the opening with Wenger on Wednesday, Falk adds.
Contrary to a report Wednesday which suggested Wenger was the front-runner for the job, it was the 70-year-old that reportedly reached out to Bayern Munich to express his interest in returning to the touchline for the first time since leaving Arsenal in 2018.
Bayern issued a statement confirming the conversation, according to Falk, saying: “Wenger called Rummenigge on Wednesday afternoon and basically signaled interest in coaching at Bayern. Bayern appreciate Arsene Wenger very much for his work as a coach at Arsenal London, but he is no option as a coach at Bayern Munich.”
Hansi Flick was named interim manager following Kovac’s departure on Sunday and led Bayern to a 2-0 win over Olympiacos which secured the team’s passage to the knockout round of the Champions League.
The search for a new full-time manager could possibly conclude during the upcoming international break after club president Uli Hoesness said earlier this week that Kovac’s successor will likely be announced within three weeks.
Ralf Rangnick, who is the director of sport and development at Red Bull, was reportedly linked with the vacancy until his agent ruled the former RB Leipzig manager out of the running.
Bayern was also said to be interested in the services of Ajax manager Erik ten Hag and Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel, but both coaches have since stated their desire to remain with their respective clubs until the end of the season.
Bayern Munich sit fourth in the table with 18 points in 10 matches. The Bavarians face a massive test this weekend when they take on bitter rivals Borussia Dortmund at the Allianz Arena.