When Brendan Rodgers looks back on his coaching career someday he will regard this as one of his smarter decisions.
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The Leicester City manager has rubbished talk of him taking over at Arsenal, as Rodgers is the bookmakers favorite to replace Unai Emery at the Emirates Stadium.
Following Leicester’s dramatic late win against Everton on Sunday, Rodgers was a little noncommittal when asked about his future and instead admitted he has a release clause of $18 million in his Leicester contract.
Speaking ahead of Leicester’s clash against Watford on Wednesday (Watch live, 2:30 p.m. ET online via NBCSports.com) the former Liverpool and Celtic manager put all of the speculation to bed.
“Yeah, the message is clear and it has been and probably I’ll get asked again until they appoint someone, but it’s very simple. I’m very happy here,” Rodgers explained. “I made a choice nine months ago to come here for a purpose. The purpose was very clear in that I wanted to help this club move forward out of where it was when I came in, and looking to lead it forward with a group I feel has huge potential. Why would I want to move from that?
“OK, I moved after nearly three years at Celtic and people may look at me thinking: ‘Right, because a club like Arsenal, with the great institution and size, and all of that …’ But it’s all about happiness and I couldn’t be happier here. My contract is until 2022 and the club haven’t said they want to release me from that.”
Rodgers would be best served to stay at Leicester City until the end of this season.
If he leads the Foxes to a top four finish this season, which looks highly likely, he will gain huge plaudits and be one of the first names on the list for the top jobs in Europe, not just the Arsenal job, next summer.
Arsenal wanted him before they hired Emery and it is clear that his style of play and ability to get the best out of young talent is very attractive to many clubs, but specifically the Gunners. When it comes to Rodgers, he has built up a reputation of being a manager who will jump ship quickly after his move from Swansea to Liverpool and then Celtic to Leicester, but in both of those situations it was a no-brainer.
Given all of the uncertainty behind-the-scenes at Arsenal and the obvious flaws in the playing squad, Rodgers would be mad to leave this Leicester side behind to take charge of the Gunners. Right now he’s managing the only club which looks likely to sustain a title challenge with Liverpool this season.
Rodgers is a man who likes the spotlight and eventually it would make sense for him to move to Arsenal, or Chelsea or even a club like Man City if Pep Guardiola departs. But until then, Leicester is the perfect fit for him and he knows it.
The fact that Rodgers is best served to remain at Leicester instead of joining Arsenal says as much about his fine work with the Foxes as it does about Arsenal’s recent demise.