Brendan Rodgers insists he is “very happy” to continue at Leicester – despite being on Arsenal’s shortlist to take over as head coach.
Arsenal are on the hunt for a new head coach after sacking Unai Emery last Friday and the Leicester manager is among the candidates they are considering to succeed him.
Rodgers has reiterated that he is enjoying life at Leicester but refused to answer whether he would be interested in a move to Arsenal should they come calling.
“I have a contract here until 2022 and thus far – and I know managers are losing their jobs – but the club have not indicated to me that they are going to sack me,” said Rodgers.
“I think they’re pretty happy with how we are working and like I said, I’m very happy, and I have no reason to look elsewhere.
“I think logic would tell you – I know in your job it’s not always logical, there’s gossip and speculation – but why would I want to leave Leicester City, at this moment in time.
“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.”
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Rodgers sparked further speculation on Sunday, Smith: I’d be delighted if Arsenal got Rodgers
Sky Sports pundit Alan Smith, who played for both Leicester and Arsenal, wants the Gunners to appoint Manchester City assistant boss Mikel Arteta but admits he would be thrilled to see Rodgers move to the Emirates.
“I’d like Mikel Arteta,” Smith told Sky Sports News.
“But I think he’s going to be a top manager quite shortly. If Arsenal don’t get him I think somebody else will. If he stays at Manchester City when Pep Guardiola steps down, he’ll be a stick on to takeover.
“He’s got that Arsenal connection as well. He’d be my choice.
“But Brendan Rodgers at my former club Leicester, I’d be delighted if they managed to secure him,” added Smith.
“I think his ethos suits Arsenal as well. When his name was mentioned before when they went for Emery a lot of people scoffed at it.
“But he’s since shown what a top manager he is. They have to take their time, they have to make sure they make a good choice.”
Carra: Rodgers shouldn’t jump ship
Jamie Carragher issued a word of caution to Rodgers, who only joined Leicester from Celtic in late February, to give a thought to his reputation if the increasingly sought-after manager jumped ship from the King Power Stadium so soon.
He said: “In the position Brendan Rodgers is in, there’s no doubt whether you’re a player or a manager you want to get right to the top. At this moment, Leicester are second and won the Premier League three years ago, we’d be lying if we were all saying Leicester are one of the top teams in the country.
“They’re not, the established big six are, wherever Leicester finish, they’re the ones who will fancy doing something in the Champions League, spending big money. I don’t think it’s right if Brendan Rodgers is even thinking about moving to Arsenal right now.
“Rightly or wrongly he got a lot of criticism from Celtic supporters for moving on before the end of the season, and it was a tough decision for him. For managers who couldn’t get a proper top-six job, this was the one everyone wanted, the players they had. If he moved now, he’d get that tag of jumping ship quickly and I think he’d deserve it.
“He’s got to look at the next 18 months and think I’m going to do something at Leicester, and maybe, after those 18 months, if a Tottenham, Arsenal, he’s not going to go back to Liverpool and Manchester United could never happen, who knows, Manchester City, I don’t know, he will want to go to one of those big six clubs.”
Merson: Arsenal have to go and get him
Speaking on this weekend’s Soccer Saturday, former Arsenal forwards Paul Merson and Charlie Nicholas were both in agreement over what qualities Rodgers could bring to the job at the Emirates.
“Brendan Rodgers makes players better, he is brilliant at that,” said Merson. “He’s taken a mid-table Leicester team to one of the best in the league. Arsenal have to go and get him. Allegri is all about getting the defence sorted, he’ll take one look at the defenders at Arsenal and scratch his head.”
But Nicholas was less certain of the attraction of Arsenal, who currently sit 13 points behind Rodgers’ Leicester in the Premier League, with qualification for next season’s Champions League already looking a tough ask for the Gunners.
“The problem is whether he would want to go,” he said. “He said he was happy with the project at Leicester, but this is Arsenal Football Club. The standard of football at Arsenal is average and as a club they are leaderless – at a managerial level and at the highest level.