Arsene Wenger says that he will wait to see how Arsenal fare next season before making any decision on whether he will sign a new contract. An action that basically stops the club from any long-term planning with the Arsenal manager insisting talks will not take place until the end of the next season.
The Gunners’ boss has a contract at the Emirates Stadium until the end of the 2016-17 Premier League season by which time he will have been in the job for over two decades.
There has been much talk about whether Wenger would stay after Arsenal again failed to deliver the Premier League title despite sitting top of the table at the turn of the year.
A number of supporters’ groups have protested about wanting change but, at the end of Sunday’s 2-2 draw at Manchester City which all-but assured the Gunners of a top-three finish and confirming a 19th straight season in the Champions League, the fans were heard chanting his name.
Wenger has a history of signing new deals 12 months before they expire as he did in 2007 and 2010 — but his latest contract was completed just a month before it was due to run-down and came on the back of FA Cup final success — the club’s first trophy in nine years.
The Frenchman has always said he would at least honour his current deal but yesterday he insisted reports he was close to penning a two-year extension were well wide of the mark.
“That’s completely wrong,” he said. “I don’t know where this information comes from. You can treat that as just an invention and no more.
“It’s absolutely false. I would like the press to check this information with myself or the club before they give it out. We both would have denied it.
“I think about the next game. At my stage you want to do well. I’m committed with integrity and commitment, full commitment to the club as long as I’m under contract, but at the moment that’s all.”
He went on to say that how his side get on next year would play a huge part in determining whether or not he then seeks an additional deal or walks away.
Asked if next season would be decisive for whether he stays, Wenger replied:
“Of course, you sum it up very well.”
He added: “What I focus on is respecting my contract and then envisage what I will do afterwards.”