Exclusive: Steve Round on his Middlesbrough conversation with Steve Gibson and Jonathan Woodgate before Arsenal switch

Steve Round was appointed Mikel Arteta's assistant at Arsenal in December 2019.Steve Round was appointed Mikel Arteta's assistant at Arsenal in December 2019.
Steve Round was appointed Mikel Arteta's assistant at Arsenal in December 2019.
Former Middlesbrough assistant Steve Round says he had a conversation with chairman Steve Gibson this summer but was never offered a contract to re-join the club.

Round spent five years at Boro working under Steve McClaren and has since coached at several Premier League clubs including Newcastle, Everton and Manchester United.

It was reported last summer that Boro wanted Round to join a new-look coaching team to be led by Jonathan Woodgate, yet a move never materialised.

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At the time, Round had just left his director of football role at Aston Villa, yet he didn’t feel it was the right moment to return to coaching.

When asked about his conversation with Boro, Round told the Mail: “I came up and had a chat with everybody to try and help them a little bit.

“At that time I had just left Aston Villa and was working for myself as a consultant for sporting director services basically.

“I was working for numerous different clubs and I just came up and had a chat with John and with Steve but there was never an offer or anything like that.

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“I’m always there and available for Steve at Middlesbrough at any time. It’s a club that’s really close to my heart and I’ll try and help as best I can at any time.”

“They asked me if I’d be interested but there wasn’t any offer given or anything like that.”

In December last year Round was appointed assistant coach at Arsenal following the unveiling of Mikel Arteta at the Emirates Stadium.

When speaking to Middlesbrough, the 49-year-old wasn’t aware of any interest from the Gunners but did feel there would be an opportunity to return to the Premier League.

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On his meeting with Boro, Round added: “I’d got other things in the pipeline and ended up where I am now, not that I knew this was going to come at Arsenal but I knew there would be opportunities to go to a top Premier League club.

“If I was going to go back into coaching that was the level I was going in at but in the end there was no specific offer made, they just asked me if I’d be interested in coming in, helping out and doing some coaching work.

“That wasn’t really for me at that time.”

Round is now looking forward to a new era at Arsenal under Arteta and believes the Spaniard could become one of the very best in management.

“Really enjoying it,” said Round when asked about his first few months in North London. “It’s a fantastic club with a top manager. Hopefully we have turned the corner and we are starting to move forward.

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“We’d got some momentum going, obviously it’s all been put on hold now and we’re just waiting to see what happens.

“It’s a brilliant club and I’m delighted to work for the manager who I think has got the potential to be one of the very, very best.”