Two Leading Arsene Wenger Successor Candidates Distance Themselves from Arsenal Job

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Ever since Arsene Wenger announced his resignation, effective at the end of the season, on Friday, outlets everywhere created and published lists of leading candidates to be the Frenchman’s successor at the club. (We’re no different, here’s a link to ours.) NYCFC Coach Patrick Vieira and Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers are two names that you will see near the top of every list.

Over the weekend, both Vieira and Rodgers distanced themselves from reports linking them to the open gig in north London. Of course they did so in the “saying all the right things” approach, meaning we need to take what they said with a grain of salt.

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Rodgers and Vieira said exactly what you would expect them to say, and in in the interests of themselves, should say.

“There’s nothing really in it. I have always said I’m extremely happy here,” Rodgers said in an interview with BBC Radio Scotland.

“I have three years left on my contract. I am loving every minute of being at Celtic from a professional perspective but also my life up here. I have a number of years left as a manager. I am 45, I probably look a lot older but, 45, and I’m enjoying my position here. It’s a huge privilege for me to manage Celtic. It’s a huge club with pressure and that’s all I concentrate on.”

Rodgers, who has previously managed in the Premier League with both Liverpool and Swansea City, went on to praise Arsenal Football Club.

“Arsenal is a fantastic club, very much similar to Celtic in terms of the traditions and values it has as a club, you can’t deny that. It’s a fantastic club but, for me, my only focus is on Celtic and doing the very best I can for them.”

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As for Vieira, who led NYCFC to the Eastern Conference semifinals during his first two years in charge, Wenger said on Thursday that he has the potential to manage the club someday.

“I spent nine years at Arsenal which makes the club really special for me,” said Vieira, a true midfield maestro during his playing days with the club, in an interview with WNYE.

“But that is not enough to coach the team. I am always flattered to hear my name linked.”

“That is good for your ego, but at the same time, I am happy here,” the former Arsenal captain continued.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune company’s blogging community Chicago Now.

Follow him on TwitterInstagramSound Cloud, LinkedIn and YouTube.

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