By Chris Harris

Arsène Wenger believes the thaw in his relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson shows that he does not bear long-term grudges.

The two men have shared some frosty moments in the 14 years since their rivalry began but in recent times a mutual respect has developed between them.

Wenger will come face to face with the Manchester United manager once again at Old Trafford on Monday and he says that any animosity between the two is a thing of the past.

"It’s always for me in the heat of the moment," said Wenger. "I’m not somebody who bears grudges for years. I can forgive - indeed, sometimes I need to be the person to be forgiven - but I’m not somebody who thinks for ten years, forever, 'I will hate you.’

"There was no specific moment [when our relationship improved]. When you both work with the LMA [League Managers' Association], for charity, you cannot say you don’t speak together. We were together in Geneva as well for UEFA.

"Relations with people go up and down a little bit. Why? Because many things happen in the heat of the moment and you know it’s not for definite. I had [arguments] not only with him but with other managers."

Expect Wenger and Ferguson to share a cordial handshake before the game, then. But what if the 'heat of the moment' causes sparks to fly during Monday's game? Wenger insists there are bigger issues at hand.

"It’s not about me, it’s about Arsenal, about the reputation of Arsenal and the future of this team, that matters to me," he said. "What happens to me for me is much less interesting and important. I want to do well for this club and do well for this team."

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12 Dec 2010