Arsenal fans plan march in support of Wenger

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The Independent Football

Hundreds of Arsenal fans are expected to take part in a march this weekend in a bid to persuade manager Arsene Wenger not to leave the club after reports linked him to Real Madrid.

The march is being organized by REDaction, a supporters group which has called on fans to meet near the club's Emirates Stadium on Sunday, shortly before the last match of the Premier League season against Stoke. The group called the event a "march of solidarity."

"The consensus among fans is not only that he should stay but also that he's one of the few managers in the football league that's earned the right to walk away," it said in a statement today on its Web site.

Reports over the past few days suggest that Wenger is considering leaving the club for Real Madrid after fans criticised him at a meeting last week and because of a limited transfer budget for this summer.

Arsenal will finish in fourth place in the Premier League, meaning they will have to qualify for the group stage of the Champions League next season.

Some Arsenal fans have become increasingly frustrated after a fourth consecutive season without a trophy and Wenger's reliance on young players.

Thousands streamed out of Emirates Stadium with 30 minutes to play in the Champions League semifinal second leg , in which Manchester United were leading 3-0 before knocking out Arsenal 4-1 on aggregate. A similar situation happened at a league game at Emirates against Chelsea five days later in which the Gunners lost 4-1.

Wenger was dismissive of that behavior after the Chelsea match, saying curtly that fans have the right to leave the stadium when they want.