Matt Le Tissier has told Soccer Special on Sky Sports (broadcast on 4/12; 21:55) that he is not surprised to hear Brendan Rodgers end all speculation linking him with a move to Arsenal, suggesting that he may not be keen to close that door entirely.
Rodgers has been heavily linked with succeeding Unai Emery at the Emirates. The Guardian reported this week that he is one of the names the Gunners are interested in.
He told Sky Sports at the weekend that there was a release clause in his contract at Leicester City. He has since insisted that he has little interest in leaving the Foxes anytime soon, and has played down the idea that admitting to having a release clause was done to encourage Arsenal (via Sky Sports).
With Leicester flying high right now and Arsenal struggling, it is no surprise that Rodgers has distanced himself from a move.
Keeping his options open?
But when Le Tissier was asked whether he was puzzled by Rodgers not immediately committing his future to Leicester when the Arsenal links emerged, the pundit speculated that perhaps the Gunners could still have a chance of landing their man.
“Does it puzzle me? No, it doesn’t puzzle me at all because all managers like to keep their options open. If he’s on a certain amount of money at Leicester and Arsenal pay the release clause and double or treble his money, he’ll probably go: ‘Yeah alright, I might have a go at that’. I think they always like to leave a little window there just in case,” he told Soccer Special.
“To be honest, I’m looking at that and I’m thinking if I was in Brendan Rodgers’s shoes, why would I want to go to Arsenal right now? I know they’re a bigger football club. But the state of play at this particular moment of time, he’s got his Leicester team to second in the league, why would he throw that away to go and join Arsenal mid-season?”
It would certainly be a surprise if Rodgers left for Arsenal during the season. The Gunners – who do have a game in hand over most sides in the Premier League – are closer to the bottom three than the top four. And if they beat Brighton on Wednesday, they will still be 13 points off Leicester.
Had the opportunity come at the end of the season, perhaps it would be easier to imagine Rodgers moving. But with the Foxes flying high and Arsenal needing a stunning run from here to make the top four, the Gunners are surely going to have to produce something seriously special if they hope to tempt Rodgers away.