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Monaco’s dream of landing Arsène Wenger goes up in smoke

May 10, 2014, 11:11 AM EDT

Even impressive goal celebrations aren't likely to tempt Wenger away from Arsenal AP

Monaco will finish the season second in Ligue 1, heading to the Champions League next year. When you considering that they were in Ligue 2 just last year, that’s pretty impressive

But it’s not enough for high-rolling Monaco, who have huge dreams, backed by the Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, who bought the club in December 2011. As such, they’re set to sack Claudio Ranieri, who’s been in charge for the past three seasons, and bring in someone that can boost the club even higher.

First came the rumor that Ranieri was on the verge of being fired. Then came the rumors of possible replacements. Antonio Conte of Juventus. Jorge Jesus of Benfica. And Arsène Wenger of Arsenal.

And Monaco were prepared to pay upwards of $16m to secure the services of Arsenal’s manager.

But worry not, Arsenal fans. Wenger gave an interview (in French) to Eurosport this weekend, saying, “(The contact at Arsenal) is not totally done but it should be sorted soon.” He’s also given no indication that he’s open to taking up the post of Monaco boss.

It’s believed that the contract will be sorted after next Saturday, when the Gunners face Hull in the FA Cup. Should Wenger end Arsenal’s long trophy drought, there’s even more reason to think that an announcement of the manager’s stay will come shortly thereafter.

Ranieri’s replacement looks most likely to be Jesus, who’s been at Benfica since 2009. During that time, he’s won the Primeira Liga twice, the Portuguese League Cup four times, and took his side to the Europa League final last year. This time around, they’ll meet Sevilla in the final in Turin – and maybe Jesus will add another trophy to his list of accomplishments before he heads off to see what he can do at Monaco.

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