Wenger speculation over PSG role

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The Independent Football

According to reports yesterday, the Arsenal manager, Arsène Wenger, is preparing to leave England at the end of his current contract in 2011 and is already making plans for his next role in football.

The Sunday Telegraph claimed that Wenger has been in France advising Paris St-Germain on strategy, with the long-term aim of becoming president of the French club in three years time.

Wenger clearly has unfinished business at Arsenal with the Champions League a notable gap on his CV. But the idea of heading back to France is thought to appeal.

The unexpected appointment of Wenger's close friend Charles Villeneuve as PSG president last week led to intense speculation in France, with sources close to the Paris club claiming that Wenger supported the decision and intends to succeed Villeneuve when he leaves Arsenal.

Villeneuve, who recently retired as head of sport for the television station TF1, admitted that he had spoken to Wenger before accepting the post. "When they offered me the job, I consulted Arsène and he said, 'Charles, are you ready to suffer?' I decided to accept the challenge."

Villeneuve dismissed the notion that he is keeping the seat warm for Wenger, pointing out that he is contracted to Arsenal and is as determined as ever to win the Champions League.

"Arsène has won almost everything but he wants to get the cherry to put on the cake," he said. "I think he will need two or three years to do that." He then confirmed that he himself only envisages staying at PSG for three years.

Elsewhere, in Scotland, the Gretna chairman, Ron MacGregor, admits time is almost up for the club after the only known interested buyer gave up hope of a rescue package.

A consortium fronted by football agency consultant Paul Davies is set to tell administrators that their bid is dead. The offer was doomed when the Scottish Football League voted to demote Gretna to the Third Division.

MacGregor said "I think basically we are in between a rock and a hard place, primarily as a result of the SFL management committee's decision to not allow us to take the normal route into the First Division."

The SFL have given the club until the "very early" part of the week to find a buyer, with administrator David Elliot expected to wind up the club tomorrow in the extremely likely event that none emerges.