Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed that he was tempted to become Real Madrid's new coach earlier this summer, but could not leave the Gunners with his long-term mission at the club not yet completed.
The Frenchman has spent more than 13 years at the helm of the North London club, and received criticism about his methods from his own supporters for the first time during the close-season, having refused to splash cash on experienced heads to compliment his armoury of talented youngsters.
Real Madrid, under returning president Florentino Perez, embarked on an unprecedented spending spree ahead of the new campaign, recruiting Kaka, Cristiano Ronaldo, Xabi Alonso, Karim Benzema, Alvaro Arbeloa and Raul Albiol for more than €200 million.
The Bernabeu outfit were also keen to add Wenger to their list of stellar signings, to help guide the new 'Galacticos' to the levels of success enjoyed by arch-rivals Barcelona in 2008/09.
And although Wenger conceded that the opportunity to take over his boyhood club was appealing, he insisted he still had unfinished business at the Emirates Stadium that he could not walk away from just yet.
"Real is the club of my childhood," he told L'Equipe.
"When I was a kid, watching those guys in white, winning everything, then of course I am attracted by that club, but I have a pact with the young players of my team, and I want to succeed with that bet.
"I identified what was important in my job - freedom. Here, I have it.
"I could have earned bigger wages at Real, but I earn a good living in London. At my age, money can't play a key role.
"If I left for Real, I would have tried to filter through my philosophy, re-organise everything. I could have given foundations to the club's structure.
"But that team is only built on bought players. They have to do what has been achieved at Barcelona through young players - creating a culture."comments