Arsenal Football Manager, Arsène Wenger, is reportedly set to sign a two-year contract extension, following the backing from the board, and the players.
The Gunners board are hoping to have the long-time serving manager commit to his future by March, giving them more time to secure contract renewals for star players, Alexis Sanchez, and Mesut Özil.
The board initially were going to wait until the end of the season to discuss a possible contract renewal. However, the ongoing controversy regarding contracts of some of the club’s star players has prompted earlier than believed talks between the two.
Neither Sanchez, nor Özil, has yet to sign a contract extension, with the two players only having eighteen months left before it expires. The club risks losing the players elsewhere, or worse, on a free transfer.
However, both players have expressed their desire to remain at the club, increasing speculation as to why the duo has yet to re-sign.
Mesut Özil, who was voted as Arsenal’s Player of the Year last season, had reportedly suggested he would only re-sign should Wenger’s contract be renewed. However, in what seems like a case of lost in translation, it since been confirmed the German International just wishes to have clarity regarding Wenger’s future at the club.
Wenger seems to have full support from his players, with striker Olivier Giroud, recently expressing his and his teammate’s desire for Wenger to continue his reign as manager.
While Wenger has the support of his players, fans of the club, seem to be divided on opinion regarding the possible contract extension of the manager. Arsenal’s lack of success in the Premier League and Champions League in recent times has resulted in many fans wanting the manager to be sacked.
Wenger, now in his 20th season as manager of the North London club, has not led Arsenal to a Premier League title since his famous ‘Invincibles’ team went unbeaten in the 2003-2004 season.
The Frenchman’s lack of activity in the transfer market, and seemingly unwillingness to spend large amounts of money come each transfer window, has also brought the manager under criticism. Banners brandishing the words “Wenger Out’’ has been an all too common sight at Arsenal football matches in recent times.
This has led to speculation of not only his potential sacking, but possible replacements. Arsenal’s rivals Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool all seem to be thriving under new management, prompting calls for Arsenal to follow suit. Athletico Madrid’s, Diego Simeone, and Juventus’ Max Allergi are managers that have been suggested as potential replacements.
However, despite the fans outcry, Wenger’s support from both the board and his players means a contract renewal seems the most likely outcome.
We have not seen the last of the “Wenger Out” army.