Arsene Wenger believes he’s still in contention to succeed Niko Kovac at Bayern Munich.
The former Arsenal manager told beIN Sports on Friday that he’s set to meet with Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge next week to discuss the vacancy.
“On Wednesday afternoon, Rummenigge called me. I could not answer at that moment, and by politeness, I called him back,” Wenger said. “He was in his car going to the game against Olympiacos.
“We talked for four-to-five minutes maximum and he told me they had assigned (Hans-Dieter) Flick to be the coach – he will manage the next two games because they are playing (Borussia) Dortmund tomorrow.
“He (Rummenigge) asked me if I would be interested because they are looking for a coach. I told him I didn’t have any thoughts about it – it needs some time to have a think about it.
“We decided together we will talk next week because I’m in Doha (in Qatar) until Sunday. This is the true story.”
Wenger’s version of events clashes with those detailed by Bayern. The German champions issued a statement earlier Friday to say the 70-year-old called Rummenigge to express his interest but that “he is no option as a coach at Bayern Munich.”
Ralf Rangnick, who serves as the director of sport and development at Red Bull, was apparently in the running for the Bayern helm until his agent ruled out the move for his client. Ajax’s Erik ten Hag and Paris Saint-Germain’s Thomas Tuchel are also linked to the position but both have stated desires to remain in their respective jobs until the end of the season.
Bayern parted ways with Kovac on Sunday following a humiliating 5-1 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt.
Flick, Kovac’s former assistant, subsequently oversaw Wednesday’s 2-0 Champions League win over Olympiacos and is set to take the reins for Saturday’s Der Klassiker with Dortmund.