Football Football

Wenger set for new Arsenal deal


LONDON, England, September 13- Arsenal are set to offer manager Arsene Wenger a new contract to keep him at the Emirates Stadium beyond the end of his current deal in 2014 reports.

With two years remaining on Wenger’s contract, speculation has surfaced over whether the long-serving manager will continue in north London when the deal expires.

The Frenchman is the Gunners’ most successful post-war manager but has not led the club to trophy success in seven years.

Chief executive Ivan Gazidis insists 62-year-old Wenger, who took over in 1996, is key to Arsenal’s plans and says the club remain committed to winning silverware.

He said in the Daily Mirror: “It’s not a sense of sentimentalism, not a reward for our services, it’s a belief that we have an incredible manager who loves this club and is the best man to lead us forward.

“We’re really confident about the direction that the club is heading. We’re coming through strongly and we believe we’re really well placed. We hope and believe that Arsene will be a part of that as we move forward.”

Gazidis says when Wenger does eventually call time on management, he wants to make sure his successor retains the same values instilled at the club by the Frenchman.

He added: “At the same time, as a club, we have to make sure that all of the things that Arsene has brought to the club are enshrined in our DNA to make sure that when the day comes when Arsene decides it’s time to hang up his boots – I don’t know what the expression is as a manager – that we are in a position to take his ideas and work forward.

“The values that Arsene has brought to the club together with the values the club had before Arsene are what will inform us – and I don’t want to give any indication that this is happening – and give us the framework as to who might take over from him in the longer term.”

The frustration of Arsenal fans has mounted during recent trophyless seasons but Gazidis insists winning silverware, as well as finishing in the Premier League top four, remain primary targets – even without key players such as Robin van Persie, who departed for Manchester United in the summer.

He said: “We get accused of a lack of ambition or complacency because, apparently, the board are only interested in the top four – that is absolute rubbish.

“We’re trying to win. In fact, we try to do more than that, we try to win with style – we have a certain way of playing football that we take pride in. So again, it’s a high ambition.

“I know we haven’t achieved that in recent years. There’s no-one at this football club that doesn’t feel the pain of not being able to do that in recent years but absolutely that’s what we’re trying to do and we want to do it on a sustainable basis going forward.

“We’re very optimistic about this season, even through the loss of a player as important as Robin van Persie.

“We went through some major challenges last season and yet still came near the top of the game. But it’s not what we’re aiming to do. We’re absolutely trying to win silverware and we’re trying desperately hard to do it this year.”

Wenger has earned plaudits for achieving success while adhering to the club’s financial vision and Gazidis added: “We have a wage structure which we think works for us.

“It’s not fixed in stone – we adapt it over time, there are no absolute hard and fast rules.

“We look at situations not just individually but in the context of the whole, in the context of what we are trying to do.

“We are adaptive and, in the end, our performance against our spend is judged on the pitch every year and I think we have got an excellent record.”