'That's a good example for China to follow'

Arsene Wenger managing Nagoya Grampus Eight in 1995

Arsene Wenger was asked a wide range of questions at his press briefing in Shanghai on Tuesday - including how he would compare Chinese football with that played in Japan.

The Arsenal boss has first-hand experience of the J-League, having managed Nagoya Grampus before joining Arsenal.

Below is a transcript of what he said:

on whether he has ever considered coaching in China…
No. Not because I don’t like China, but because I was always happy where I worked. I have not been out of jobs so I have not considered going somewhere else, I was always under contract in Europe.

on comparisons between Chinese and J-Leagues…
I cannot compare the J-League with the Chinese league. I must say honestly I have not seen [many] games in the Chinese league. The only thing I would say is it’s comparable to what I knew in Japan because they invested a huge amount of money to get big stars. After that to get the Chinese league to [become a] top league, of course they need Chinese players of top quality as well. The Japanese work in a very structured way with the youth system. They’ve worked very hard to copy the academies in Europe and they did that well. I think that’s a good example to follow for China. You need an elite and a good basis. At the moment it looks to me like they have a good elite. How good is their basis? I don’t know. I don’t know how good the Chinese players are.

on Barcelona wanting Paulinho…
Paulinho - we know him well because he played in England. I was surprised but I don’t know. He must be under contract and I don’t know if the Chinese club wants to sell Paulinho to Barcelona. I cannot interfere.

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