During an appearance on beIN Sports, Arsene Wenger told an interviewer that he is set to sign a new contract and extend his stay at Arsenal.
The French coach has been in charge of the English giants since 1996, thus making him the longest-serving manager in their history. Not only this, but his record of three Premier League titles and four FA Cups make him their most successful. However, his last success came in the 2004-05 season, and he is under increasing pressure.
Although he spent a club record £42million to prise Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid in the summer, there has been widespread criticism of his reluctance to spend big. For example, the Gunners started this season in great form as they threatened to challenge for the title, but their lack of a genuine world class striker has cost them dearly.
Their lack of silverware over the past decade has also resulted in several of their big-name players quitting for more capable sides. Cesc Fabregas has gone on to enjoy success at Barcelona, whilst Kolo Toure, Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy all left to win the title at Manchester City, and Robin van Persie did likewise at Manchester United.
With their title challenge over weeks ago, Arsenal fans are hoping their team can stave off the challenge of Everton to at least finish fourth and maintain their record of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League. Furthermore, they could finally have a trophy to celebrate in May, when they take on Hull City in the FA Cup final at Wembley.
But even a top-four finish and the first addition of silverware for nine years may not persuade some supporters that Wenger deserves to remain in position. The 64-year-old is out of contract in the summer, but whilst it had been reported he was considering his future, he has now revealed that he will, indeed, sign a new deal.
When asked by an interviewer on beIN Sport if he will stay or leave at the end of the season, Wenger, who has reportedly been courted by Monaco and Paris St Germain, replied: “Look, I’ve said that many times already, I’ve given my word to this club and I want to continue where I am.” Then, after a long pause, he added: “That means to stay.”
With Everton playing the early Saturday match at Southampton this weekend, the Gunners could be in fifth position by the time they welcome Newcastle United on Monday night. However, with a favourable run-in to that of Roberto Martinez’s men, they are expected to qualify for the Champions League for an impressive 17th successive year.