Ivan Gazidis hints Arsene Wenger could extend Arsenal reign
Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis hints Arsene Wenger could be persuaded to sign a new contract
Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis has hinted that Arsene Wenger may be persuaded to extend his stay at The Emirates, despite the Frenchman refusing to be drawn on his long-term future at the club.
Wenger’s current contract will expire at the end of next season, and several top European clubs – including Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and cash-rich Monaco – are said to be keen to acquire the experienced manager’s services.
The 63-year-old has so far refused to be drawn on any speculation suggesting that he could leave the club, only clarifying that he will respect the contract he signed in 2010.
But Gazidis has now hinted that discussions to secure the current manager’s future at the club will take place in the near future.
“We think we have got a fantastic manager,” said Gazidis.
“We hope he wants to do what he is doing for the long term. I believe he does. I think he is still ambitious, still driven and sees the potential of the club as he looks forward and I think he is very excited by that.
“We have a great relationship and he has a great relationship with the board. So, quietly and at the right time I think we will make an announcement on that when things are all put in place.
“We have got a lot of confidence in Arsene that he is the right person to take the club forward and I think he will want to do that. This is going to happen very quietly behind closed doors, privately and then there will be an announcement.”
The Gunners finished fourth last season, 17 points behind champions Manchester United, and some Arsenal supporters have questioned their manager’s credentials, having grown frustrated at the team’s inability to acquire any form of silverware in the last eight years.
But Gazidis believes the fact that Arsenal qualified for the Champions League on a dramatic final day has only strengthened the club’s position and insisted that playing in Europe will act as a strong foundation on which to build future successes.
“We want to be competing at the top of the game and in order to do that you have to be in the Champions League,” added Gazidis.
“So we are pleased to qualified, or at least, for the qualification games. But it is not ultimately where we want to be with moving the club forward.
“We want to be a club that is competing at the very top end of the game and that means competing to win the Premier League and competing to win the Champions League. On that basis, we are not where we want to be yet.”