Arsene Wenger has admitted for the first time that he is considering roles other than management when he returns to football.
A year has passed since Wenger left Arsenal, and the Frenchman initially felt he would soon be back in a dugout elsewhere.
The 69-year-old has had offers from all over the world during that 12 months, with Ligue 1 side Lyon the latest in a long line of clubs linked.
Yet Wenger’s focus has shifted considerably since his emotional farewell from the Emirates.
“I worked for 40 years in management. You cannot say you walk out and you don’t miss it,” he said.
“Originally I said I want to manage straight away again. After that I thought maybe I’ll take a little distance.
“I came to the conclusion that I want to share what I learned in my life. Because life is only useful if at some stage you share what you know.
“I will go back into football for sure. In what position I don’t know, whether that is as a manager or not. The appetite, the desire, is still there.
“I know what kind of life I have in front of me so I have to decide that now.”
In London to announce a new venture with leading international football-tech company PlayerMaker, Wenger looks as fit as a fiddle – he runs 10km every day – and is enjoying his occasional stints as a TV pundit, although never Arsenal “because everything I say will be interpreted in a certain way”.
Wenger revolutionised coaching when he arrived at Arsenal in 1996, breaking new ground in technology, diet and sports science.
Still immersed in football, Wenger now watches the Gunners “like a fan”.
He added: “I support Arsenal and that will be forever. They are my club. I have given my life to this club, but I managed quite well to focus on something different.
“I don’t judge. I’m happy when they win and not happy when they don’t play well. But after that I try to really take a distance with it.”
Like most, Wenger is unimpressed that Arsenal and Chelsea, and their fans, have to trek all the way to Baku in Azerbaijan for next week’s Europa League final, and that Gunners midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan felt compelled not to travel for security reasons.
“That’s something that should not happen in football, in the modern world, that politically you cannot play a football game,” he said.
“It’s a little bit of a nightmare. It’s the same for both teams, always. A final is a final. I don’t think it will affect them.
“The teams do not have such a problem, they live in ideal conditions, they have a private jet, they have nice business seats. It’s the fans.
James Wilson will leave Manchester United this summer at the end of his contract.
The 23-year-old burst on to the scene with a brace against Hull on his senior debut in 2014 but only made a further two Premier League starts for the club.
Wilson spent time at Brighton, Derby and Sheffield United before a season-long loan with Aberdeen, where he scored four goals in 32 appearances in all competitions.
That was the final year covered in the contract he signed at Old Trafford in 2015 – and it is understood the striker has been informed that his deal will not be renewed.
United have not taken up the option of an extra year that was built into the contract – just as they decided against extending captain Antonio Valencia’s stay – and Wilson will instead get the chance to kickstart his career elsewhere.
The duo and outgoing midfielder Ander Herrera are unlikely to be the only players leaving this summer, while Press Association Sport understands United under-23s head coach Ricky Sbragia has left by mutual consent.
Defender Cesar Azpilicueta would like there to be more tickets available to Chelsea fans for the Europa League final in Baku.
Little more than 6,000 fans are expected to make the trek from London to Azerbaijan for May 29’s showpiece, making up just 10 per cent of the expected crowd at Olympic Stadium.
Ticket prices and travel problems have contributed to a scenario where both sides are only expected to use half of their allocations.
See Blues stalwart Azpilicueta react to the difficult situation above: