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
Friday 17 January 2014
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).”
Latest in Sport
William Carvalho to Arsenal? Gunners make new enquiry for £35m rated midfielder
Manchester United transfer news: More signings expected, indicates Ed Woodward
CM Punk 'never ever ever' going to return to WWE (so he probably will)
Manchester United transfer news: Completed summer deals
James Rodriguez joins Real Madrid: World Cup star completes £63m move
- 1 UK pirates will get four warning letters a year
- 2 Apple has installed security backdoors on 600m iPhones and iPads, claims security researcher
- 3 Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel 'admits to shooting down plane'
- 4 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 5 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash: 'Nine Britons, 23 Americans and 80 children' feared dead after Boeing passenger jet is 'shot down' near Ukraine-Russia border
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains