Arsene Wenger rejected many offers to stay at Arsenal

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Arsene Wenger turned down a number of high profile offers to stay manager of Arsenal despite the financial restrictions imposed by the club.

The Gunners boss is set to take charge of his 1000th game in charge of Arsenal against Chelsea tomorrow, with many taking it as an opportunity to recollect his 18-year spell in north London.

Wenger has seen radical changes to Arsenal since taking charge in 1996, including a move from their famous Highbury ground to the world-class 60,000-seater Emirates Stadium in 2006.

With Arsenal officials deciding to finance the move themselves, serious financial restrictions have forced Wenger to make do with an inferior transfer budget and has also forced him to sell a number of star players.

Those financial restrictions rendered Arsenal uncompetitive for major titles and left Wenger open to criticism despite his efforts to keep Arsenal in the top four of the Premier League. However, Wenger says he never considered leaving Arsenal and turned down many offers to stay in charge at the Emirates Stadium.

He told reporters: "This club gave me a chance. But I think as well at an important periods I have shown loyalty and turned many things down and have accepted to work with restricted potential," Wenger said.

"And that was knowing that I had to stay at the top. I did that with full commitment.

"Today we can fight with the top clubs financially again. I believe the club is in a very strong position today.

"I could rate what I have at this club and I think when you come in as a manager you have to adapt take the traditions and values of the club as well as bringing your own style.

"What I met here at Arsenal was freedom in work and trust of people. The most important thing when you love a job is to wake up every morning and be happy to go in.

"I also had that here, even when we had the more difficult periods. And that is why I stayed here."

A number of clubs have reportedly tried to lure Wenger away over the last few years, including Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and the England national team. However, even though a number of Arsenal fans have called for Wenger to be sacked in recent years, with Arsenal vying for the title, the majority are glad he still holds the reigns to Arsenal's future.

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