Brendan Rodgers says focus is on Leicester amid Arsenal interest
Foxes manager admitted his contract does have an exit clause but says he is committed
Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers applauds the fans after his side scored a late winner against Everton during their Premier League clash. Photo: Nigel French/PA Wire
Brendan Rodgers appeared to rule himself out of contention for the Arsenal job despite confirming there is a clause in his contract that would allow him to leave Leicester.
Arsenal are hunting for a full-time manager after dismissing Unai Emery last week and Rodgers is prominent in their thinking. But it would be difficult for them to persuade him to come after he declared on Sunday, when asked whether he was committed to staying at the club he has led to second in the Premier League since joining from Celtic in February: “Yes, very much so. I left a club eight and a half months ago and that was a change I made to come to a club with ambition. It is a huge challenge here to break into the top six. I’ve loved every minute since I’ve come here. We’ve got work to do but I’m excited.
“My focus is very much here with Leicester. The club has been first class with me. The project feels very exciting with a lot of development ahead. So my concentration is very much with Leicester.”
Rodgers suggested the contractual clause that enables him to leave under certain conditions is a common arrangement. “They’re probably in most managers’ contracts,” he said after Leicester’s late 2-1 home victory over Everton. “I’ve been so happy to work with the players and I feel we still have a lot of work to do. Most managers’ contracts will have something in that but for me my only concentration is on Leicester.”
Rodgers said he was not bothered by suggestions that Arsenal could try to lure him away. “It doesn’t annoy me. I don’t think so much about it. It’s not in my control. I came here to help the project and see if we could bring it forward. I’m at a great club. I absolutely love it here. It seems now you’re talking about managers losing their jobs all the time and looking to be replaced. Names will get thrown right, left and centre. For the Arsenal job there are probably about 10 names. Me, I’m just concentrating on Leicester.”
Rodgers’ work at Leicester has attracted plenty of admirers. On Sunday his team moved to within eight points of the league leaders Liverpool by winning a sixth league match in a row. Kelechi Iheanacho’s scored in stoppage time to secure a 2-1 victory over Everton, who had taken the lead in the first half. Rodgers is not entertaining any title talk just yet. But nor is he ruling it out. “We’ve made a very very good start. We want to continue with that. I’ll see where we are at with 10 games to go. Then we’ll have a good idea of where we’ll finish.” – Guardian