Arsene Wenger would be an “ideal” manager for England but should remain with Arsenal beyond the end of this season, the club’s former star Robert Pires told AFP on Wednesday.
Wenger, who recently celebrated his 20th anniversary as Arsenal manager, will be out of contract at the end of the current campaign.
The Frenchman, 66, has been linked with the England manager’s job following Sam Allardyce’s departure and has said that it might appeal one day, but Pires hopes Wenger will stay at the Emirates Stadium a little longer.
“The English are thinking about it because they think he’d be the ideal person,” Pires, who spent six years with Wenger at Arsenal, told AFP at the Leaders Sport Business Summit in London.
“If they choose Arsene Wenger, knowing he’s a good coach, that he speaks very good English and has a good image, he’d be the ideal man.
“I know Arsene a bit. He loves his club and his club is Arsenal. He’s built lots of things with this club.
“I know he’s getting near the end of his contract. I don’t know what will happen, but for me, the best thing would be for him to continue with Arsenal.
“I think he’ll stay, even if England are fluttering their eyelashes at him. It’s just my opinion, but (I think he will stay) because he loves being on the pitch every day.”
Allardyce left his post just 67 days into the job after he was caught up in a newspaper sting.
He has been replaced on an interim basis by England Under-21s coach Gareth Southgate, who takes charge of the senior side for the first time against Malta on Saturday.
Pires was speaking at a press conference to mark the launch of a new six-a-side tournament between former international players called “Star Sixes”.
The event, featuring ex-players including Pires, Steven Gerrard, Carles Puyol, Michael Ballack, Deco and Jay Jay Okocha, will take place for the first time at London’s O2 Arena in July 2017.