LONDON — Arsene Wenger is unlikely to manage France in future because he needs to be involved in football every day, ex-Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna has told ESPN FC.
Wenger stepped down from his role as Arsenal manager at the end of last season but confirmed that he had no intention of bringing an end to his career.
He has been linked with a role with the France team, either as a potential successor to Didier Deschamps or in a more technical job, but Sagna said he did not expect that to appeal to his former boss.
“I don’t think he will be the France national team manager one day because he wants to be part [of the game] every single day in what he is doing,” Sagna said at the launch of Primetag, a digital tool that offers players, teams, brands and media a new way to utilise social media information.
“There’s only some momentum with the French national team and for him it’s not enough. I think he will try to get a team [a club].
“After being such an important man in the football world, such a big manager and having so much influence on so many players, he can’t stay away from the pitch.
“I don’t know where it’s going to be, where he’s going to end up, but he’s going to be back soon, I think.”
Sagna angered many Arsenal fans when he ran his contract down and joined Manchester City on a free transfer in 2014 after seven years with the Gunners.
But he stressed that his respect for Wenger was undiminished, saying: “He’s the one who had a big impact in my life because he brought me to English football, to the dream of many players, and he made me play for Arsenal which was my favourite team when I was young.
“I had the chance to wear the shirt and he gave me the opportunity to do it. I was sad when I saw him walking away after 22 years. He deserved a farewell and the respect he had. Everyone showed gratitude to him. He deserved it.”
Having played in three of the last four major international tournaments Sagna, 35, is not in the France World Cup squad but was upbeat about their chances.
“The France national team is really strong,” he said. “Every single position is really strong. We have amazing players going to the World Cup and I think they’re going to do well, not only because they are talented but because they are really young.
“There’s a good vibe in the team and in the most recent competitions, in the World Cup in 2014 and in Euro 2016 we did well. I’m looking forward to seeing the team reach the final and winning.”
Sagna also believes that losing the Euro 2016 final to Portugal in France will make the national team even more determined.
“I remember the first words [in the dressing room] after losing the final were thinking about the World Cup,” he said.
“It was disappointing to lose the final the way we did in France, and I think the team wants to live these kind of moments again because it’s just magical, crazy when you see the impact it had on the country itself. They have quality and they’re going to go step by step.”
Liam is ESPN FC’s Chelsea correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Liam_Twomey.