Arsene Wenger has distanced himself from rumours that he could return to Arsenal to take up the vacant role as club chairman.
The retirement of Sir Chips Keswick at the end of May after 15 years in the role means the Gunners are without a chairman heading into the resumption of the 2019/20 season next week.
Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown, who spent eight years under Wenger’s management in north London said the Frenchman’s return to the club at boardroom level would be ‘special’.
But the 70-year-old was quick to dampen any speculation over a comeback, telling beINSports: ‘The candidate says there is no candidate.’
Wenger’s last game as Arsenal manager came in May 2018, bringing an end to a 22-year spell as the Gunners manager.
During his time in north London, the Frenchman won seven FA Cups and three Premier League titles, including the unbeaten 2003/04 Invincibles season which has not been matched since.
The 70-year-old has vocally admitted his desire to not return to the club, even to watch the games at the Emirates Stadium, in order to maintain his 2018 desire to ‘leave Arsenal completely’.
Wenger, who is now FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development, was the subject of considerable abuse from his own supporters as Arsenal failed to mount a serious title challenge during his final few years as manager.
Despite this, former Gunners defender Keown says the Gunners could ‘do a lot worse’ by appointing Wenger as a chairman.
Keown told talkSPORT: ‘It would be something special to see Arsene Wenger come onto the board.
‘I don’t think so somehow, I think he’s said recently he doesn’t want to do that, never saw himself as someone who would sit on the board, but they could do a lot worse.
‘I feel that would be almost the perfect answer for [Stan] Kroenke, the young Josh Kroenke, he needs that older person perhaps around, someone with the experience.
‘Other people would think that it would be intimidating for [Mikel] Arteta – I don’t think so.
‘If you’re a successful-type personality, you don’t really mind who else is in the building. You embrace that knowledge that could come in through the door.
‘So I would applaud that if Arsenal Football Club were to bring Arsene Wenger onto the board.’