Arsene Wenger has distanced himself from speculation linking him with the England manager’s job by saying that it should be given to an Englishman.
The Arsenal boss, who is in the final year of his contract at Emirates Stadium, was touted as a possible successor to Roy Hodgson before Sam Allardyce’s appointment in July.
And the 66-year-old has again been tipped as a candidate after Allardyce left the role by mutual consent in the wake of allegations that he told undercover journalists how to get around transfer rules.
Football Association chief executive Martin Glenn has said that Wenger “fits the criteria perfectly” to become England boss, but the Frenchman disagrees.
“It’s very important, I always said that,” he told BeIn Sports when asked if England should have a homegrown manager.
“A country like England has a huge football passion and the structure of the national team looks to demand that a guy from their own nation is the leader.
“If tomorrow, you’re the coach of France and you play England and you can’t sing the anthem of the team you’re leading, it looks a bit strange. I like what is logical.
“My first priority was always Arsenal and it would be different to manage another English team, so England would have been a second possibility. But Arsenal were always my priority.”
Gareth Southgate has been placed in temporary charge and will oversee his first match on Saturday, when the 1966 world champions host Malta in a World Cup qualifier.
Wenger believes the former centre-back is the right man to lead the team and perhaps to reduce some of the pressure placed on the players.
“He has the intelligence, the knowledge. As a man, he has the qualities to do well,” added Wenger.
“In tournaments, the pressure on the team is absolutely massive and it looks like they auto-destroy themselves. The pressure on the players was absolutely too big.”