Arsene Wenger says he “was always against” the winner of the Europa League being rewarded with a place in the Champions League.
A return to Champions League football would be a minimum requirement for the Gunners this season but the 67-year-old does not necessarily believe winning the Europa League should warrant a place in the elite competition.
Manchester United finished 6th last year but will be playing in the Champions League after beating Ajax 2-0 in the Europa League final in May – a reward Wenger has never been keen on.
“I was always against it,” he said.
“Because apart from Man United, who did win the Europa League, all the years before it was always a team who was kicked out of the Champions League by having been kicked out of it before.
“You cannot go into the season and think that (you will get into the Champions League by winning the Europa League).
“I always was not in favour of that, because I think at some stage it can influence on the championship, because if a team is in April in a position where they have more chance to win the Europa League they can let some games go in the championship, and not completely focus on that, on the regularity of the competition.
“I will always play a team that has a good chance to win the next game. In the Europa League if we can afford sometimes to rest some players we will do it.
“But we have to adapt to the level of the competition and see first what kind of group we play in.”