Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright has revealed that he came close to sealing a move to Chelsea in the mid-1990s due his relationship with Bruce Rioch, the Gunners manager at the time.
Rioch arrived at Highbury in June 1995, succeeding former manager George Graham, who had been at the helm for just short of 10 years.
However, Rioch’s time in charge of the Gunners did not go according to plan, as the Scot’s tenure lasted just over a year.
And now, former Gunners star Wright has revealed that his relationship with Rioch was so bad that he tried to force through a move away from the club to London rivals Chelsea.
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“Yes, under Glenn Hoddle,” Wright told BBC Radio 5 Live when asked if he could have sealed a move to Chelsea in the mid 1990s. “It was that year that I had with Bruce Rioch that was a real tough one.
“I handed in a transfer request by the time it got to a serious point because I genuinely thought I was leaving. Arsenal don’t sack managers and obviously George Graham went.
“After Bruce Rioch came in, after the first year, we literally argued every day and I thought I should just leave, as there was no way Arsenal were going to get rid of him and something was going to happen between us, so I put that transfer request in, they refused it, it all went up in the air and in the end I was in touch with Chelsea.”
Though Wright was tempted to swap north London for west, he ended up staying with the Gunners for a further three years.
Explaining why he decided to stay at Highbury, the former England international added: “It would have been a big mistake for me to leave at that stage with everything that happened with me at Arsenal. I ended up winning the league, got the top goal-scorer in Arsenal’s history before, obviously, Thierry [Henry] broke it.