Football: Japanese still after Wenger

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ARSENAL FANS could be in for two years of speculation about Arsene Wenger, after their manager indicated he would extend his contract with the club but failed to dispel the belief that he will leave Highbury in time to lead Japan into the 2002 World Cup.

Wenger, who has one year of his three-year contract to run, said he expected to agree a deal to extend his stay "within the next two weeks". But he added: "I want to stay two or three years here. After that, who knows where anyone will be?"

Japanese sources believe that Kuniya Daini, the head of their Football Federation's technical committee, is in London to speak to Wenger and the Arsenal manager admitted: "I speak always with the Japanese Federation as I have strong links with them."

There was better news for Arsenal fans as Wenger said that Patrick Kluivert could yet join the club from Milan if he was prepared to accept the club's wage structure. Pierre van Hooijdonk, the disaffected Nottingham Forest forward, is also under consideration.