Brendan Rodgers has all but ruled himself out of the running to become Arsenal’s manager next by saying that he is very happy at Leicester and has no need to “look elsewhere”.
The Northern Irishman is among the managers being considered by Arsenal as they hunt for a replacement for Unai Emery but, asked on Monday whether that meant he would not be interested in an offer from Arsenal, he replied: “Yeah, the message is clear and it has been and probably I’ll get asked again until they appoint someone, but it’s very simple. I’m very happy here.
“I made a choice nine months ago to come here for a purpose. The purpose was very clear in that I wanted to help this club move forward out of where it was when I came in, and looking to lead it forward with a group I feel has huge potential. Why would I want to move from that?
“OK, I moved after nearly three years at Celtic and people may look at me thinking: ‘Right, because a club like Arsenal, with the great institution and size, and all of that …’ But it’s all about happiness and I couldn’t be happier here. My contract is until 2022 and the club haven’t said they want to release me from that.”
Rodgers has taken Leicester to second in the Premier League this season after six consecutive wins in the competition, eight points behind leaders Liverpool. Sunday’s late 2-1 victory against Everton at the King Power Stadium means that they are three points ahead of Manchester City in third and that they have a 12-point gap down to fifth-placed Tottenham in the hunt for a Champions League place.
“I have a contract here until 2022 and, thus far, and I know managers are losing their jobs, the club haven’t indicated to me that they are going to sack me, I think they’re pretty happy with how we’re working,” said Rodgers, whose side take on Watford on Wednesday. “I’m very happy, so I’ve no need to look elsewhere. And I think logic would tell you – and I know that sometimes in your world it’s not always logical, this gossip and speculation – but why would I want to leave Leicester City at this moment in time? I’m working with a young group of players with so much potential, they want to improve and want to develop.”
Rodgers appeared to scoff at claims that he had practically invited Arsenal to inquire about him when he confirmed in a television interview that he has a clause in his contract allowing him to talk to any club willing to pay a potential release fee. “I was asked a question on my contract, talking about clauses and stuff like that there,” he said. “I gave an honest answer, which was based around probably most managers have something in their contracts, and by all accounts that ‘opened the door’ for something. Logic looks at it and I repeat: I’m very very happy here. There’s a lot for us to grow and develop over these next few seasons.
“We’re moving to a new training facility. I respect there will always be this speculation around jobs, and there’s probably a number of other managers but for me, I repeat, I’m happy here, very happy, and have great relations with all the people, and I feel I want to continue with that. Take from that what you want.”