Former Arsenal midfielder Robert Pires has confessed that he wants to return to the club as their sporting director in the near future.
The French winger picked up two Premier League titles during his spell as a player in north London, and even appeared in their Champions League final defeat to Barcelona in 2006.
And now at the ripe old age of 43, having only hung up his playing boots last year following a short stint with Indian Super League side FC Goa, he is now seeking a new role within the game.
And while a number of his former Arsenal teammates – most notably Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira – have taken the leap into managerial and coaching roles, Pires distanced himself from that side of the game, instead highlighting another route that he would rather take.
Pires is already an ambassador for the club, and though he swatted away any ambitions of delving into the coaching world just yet, he did admit that he is attracted to the idea of becoming their sporting director.
"Yes, it is my objective," Pires told the Hindustan Times when asked about his interest in the role.
"I don’t know what will happen in the future, but I need to talk about it with the owners and Arsene Wenger.
"I’d love this job, I love to talk with the players. If I’m given this job one day, I can stay in contact with football, especially with Arsenal. I have a good relation with the manager, that’s important.
"I can work with the players, I can give advice to the young players, so we can find a good relationship between me and the players."
The long road back
Pires left Arsenal a decade ago in 2006 when he left for a four-year Indian summer with Spanish side Villarreal.
However, that wasn't the end of him in English football, as he joined a rather youthful Aston Villa side on a short term deal in 2009.
That represented the last of his playing for three years until he penned another short-term deal with FC Goa to turn out for them in the 2014/15 season.
While in India, he made just eight appearances and scored once, but admitted to the Hindustan Times that he still follows Arsenal's fortunes closely.
So much so that upon his eight-year-old son Theo signing for the club's academy he told him in no uncertain terms that he can never turn out for Tottenham.
Asked what his reaction would be he replied: "No! That’s impossible! He knows my reaction. I’d prefer if he played for Arsenal. Sorry, but not for Spurs. Maybe San Antonio Spurs, the basketball team (in NBA), in America."
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