Arsenal chief delivers revealing update about Arsene Wenger’s future

Ivan Gazidis hints that Arsene Wenger could be set to extend his stay at Arsenal beyond next season...

Ivan Gazidis has hinted that Arsene Wenger could be set to extent his stay at Arsenal beyond next season.

The Frenchman is entering into the final year of his contract at Emirates Stadium and has found himself under pressure in recent months.

Wenger came in for criticism last season after his side failed to maintain their Premier League title challenge and eventually ended up 10 points behind champions Leicester City.

It has been suggested that next season could be Wenger’s last in charge of the club he has managed since 1996.

However, Arsenal chief executive Gazidis has suggested that Wenger will have the final decision on when he will step down.

Speaking in an interview with The Telegraph, Gazidis said: “He [Wenger] is in his mid-sixties, it’s natural to think about when his time here might come to an end, but the truth is nobody knows.

“He is in fantastic shape. He is deeply engaged and excited. One of the biggest challenges we will face is the transition, whenever it happens, but that is not something we are going to be facing imminently.

“Obviously, he is going to be managing us next year and we are planning and making many decisions for the long term.

“The reality is we wouldn’t leave things until the last minute. I’m comfortable both that if Arsene is going to extend we will know that and if, whenever that is, he is going to come to an end, that he will give us the time that we need to prepare for that transition.

“The relationship with Arsene is very deep. It will be done behind closed doors and we will have our transition plans well worked out.

“He has always put the long-term health of the club first. He wants to hand over a football club, whenever that it is, that is in great shape. He views that as a massively important part of his legacy.

“But we are just not in that mode. I know Arsene wouldn’t stay on if he thought the club wasn’t heading in a good direction and thought he wouldn’t be able to deliver what the fans want.”

Arsenal have already made their first signing of the summer transfer window, bringing in midfielder Granit Xhaka in a deal believed to be worth around £30m.

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The Gunners finished about Tottenham in the table last term.

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