Arsène Wenger says his relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson has improved over time.

The Frenchman and his Scottish rival shared some heated moments following Wenger's arrival in English football in 1996 as Arsenal and Manchester United battled for Premier League supremacy.

But a mutual admiration developed between Wenger and Ferguson over their 17 years of competition and the Arsenal manager revealed that he sent the 71-year-old a text after he announced his plans to retire.

"Our relationship got milder and more respectful that’s for sure," said Wenger. "Maybe because we were less in a fight with them [Man United] recently, so the tension was a bit smaller, and we are a long time in the job as well, so a bit more respect maybe.

"Yes [Ferguson is different away from football] because he loves a good Bordeaux," added Wenger.

"In a competition you never have really exchanges with people, you say ‘hello, how are you?’, and after the game ‘we played well’, ‘you played well’, some advice and ‘see you next time’. The exchanges are very, very small."

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Chris Harris 13 May 2013