Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger closing in on new contract: 'There is a point where you have to make your decision'

Wenger is likely to extend his contract beyond the end of the current season after his side's resurgence sees them top of the Premier League

Arsene Wenger looks set to put pen to paper on a new contract that will keep him at Arsenal beyond the end of the current season, with an announcement expected to be made in the next few weeks.

The Frenchman is the longest serving manager in the Premier League by some way, having taken the job back in 1996, and although his current contract expires this year, the Gunners resurgence looks to have appeased fans that were calling for his head not so long ago.

Mesut Ozil’s £42.5m signing last summer suggested that Wenger was willing to spend big in order to compete with their main rivals, having shown a reluctance to shell out such a fee in recent seasons. What followed was a brilliant run of form that has seen the north London side sit pretty at the top of the Premier League for some time, and renewed optimism at the Emirates has coincided with new financial deals that looks set to strengthen the club in the years to come.

Speaking in a pre-match press conference ahead of the league visit of Fulham on Saturday, Wenger confirmed that there comes a time when a decision must be made, but he left those in attendance in the lurch as to whether that time had come.

“There is always a point where you have to decide, of course,” Wenger said. “There is a point where you have to decide and there is a point where you have to make your decision public."

When pushed further for an answer on his current preference, Wenger replied: “You can take of that sentence the way you want it.”

Despite his current precarious contract status, the club’s transfer plans have taken preference in recent weeks, with fans and pundits alike suggesting Arsenal require another striker to really push forward their title credentials and compete in the second half of the season with Manchester City and Chelsea.

But Wenger is clearly taking pleasure in dumbfounding those claims as he sticks with his current crop of strikers, even though Nicklas Bendtner, Yaya Sanogo and Theo Walcott are injured while Lukas Podolski only returned from injury last month.

Olivier Giroud has been leading the line for the Gunners, having notched his ninth league goal in the 2-1 win over Aston Villa last Monday, and despite reports that Wenger will attempt to sign Fulham’s Dimitar Berbatov – a player he does admire – he has rubbished those claims as well.

“Do I rate Berbatov as player? Highly. Have we made any approach to sign Berbatov? No,” said Wenger.

“I don't think (we would look to sign Berbatov) because we have (Nicklas) Bendtner who is coming back, we have Yaya Sanogo who is making very good progress in training.

“Of course we have lost Theo Walcott and that for us was a big blow. Hopefully we can compensate, but we have not made any approach (for Berbatov).”

 

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness