Arsene Wenger again affirms commitment to Arsenal despite 'game of musical chairs' among managers
The Frenchman will soon be the longest serving manager in England
Thursday 16 May 2013
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger expects another “game of musical chairs” as top clubs around Europe swap managers this summer - but has again stressed he is not planning to go anywhere just yet.
Following the decision of Sir Alex Ferguson to retire, Wenger, who took charge at Highbury in 1996, will next season become the longest serving manager in the Barclays Premier League.
While Manchester United have moved swiftly to name David Moyes as Ferguson's successor, just who else will be going head to head with the 63-year-old Frenchman at title rivals Chelsea and Manchester City come August remains to be seen.
Wenger, whose current deal runs until the summer of 2014, had himself been linked with a move to Paris St Germain, where the future of Carlo Ancelotti has yet to be clarified.
However, the Gunners manager is looking forward to testing himself against the game's best tacticians once again by aiming to deliver Arsenal's first silverware in the best part of a decade.
Writing in his blog for the French Eurosport website, http://www.eurosport.fr, Wenger said: "The rumours about my future? It does not bother me, it is part of the interest of the footballing public. You have to live with it and try to educate people.
"I answered this question several times by saying that I have always respected my contract and I will continue to do so.
"There will undoubtedly be a rotation of coaches, with a game of musical chairs.
"It concerns a lot of people but it is a rotation with respect to big-name coaches, so no matter where they go, there will always be great coaches everywhere."
Arsenal kept themselves in the driving seat to secure another shot at Champions League qualification when they beat Wigan 4-1 at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night, a result which confirmed the FA Cup winners' relegation.
The Gunners head to Newcastle on Sunday one point ahead of north-London rivals Tottenham and two behind Europa League winners Chelsea, whom they could yet overtake or indeed ultimately face in a play-off for third depending on the respective results at Stamford Bridge and St James' Park.
Should Arsenal go on to secure the chance of a 16th consecutive season in the Champions League, it would strengthen the club's hand in summer transfer negotiations.
Wenger is reported to have a healthy reserve of more than £100million which will be bolstered by the expected departures of surplus players such as Andrey Arshavin, Sebastien Squillaci and Marouane Chamakh.
Moroccan forward Chamakh went out on loan to West Ham in search of regular first-team football, which never arrived, and could now be set for a return to Bordeaux.
He said in French newspaper Le 10 Sport: "This is possible because there is a good chance that I will not stay at Arsenal. If I come back to France, it will be in Bordeaux.
"I am always nostalgic. I spent so many good times there.
"Everyone knows that Bordeaux is a club that is in my heart. If I find an agreement with Bordeaux, why not?"
Wenger is understood to have targeted offensive additions this summer, with the likes of Fiorentina's Stevan Jovetic, Real Madrid frontman Gonzalo Higuain and even England forward Wayne Rooney all said to be on the Arsenal manager's radar.
Borussia Dortmund defender Lukasz Piszczek is another, especially given the uncertainty over the long-term future of Bacary Sagna, who has yet to sign a contract extension and has been linked with PSG.
Arsenal, meanwhile, look set to be without midfielder Mikel Arteta (calf) at Newcastle.
Jack Wilshere, the England international set for summer surgery to clear up a niggling ankle problem, is on stand-by having been started on the bench in recent weeks.
Striker Olivier Giroud will be available again following a three-match suspension.
Wenger said on the club's official website, http://www.arsenal.com: "Honestly, Arteta's chances of being available are minimal. I have to be realistic and prepare for another solution.
"Wilshere is an option, yes. We will monitor him until Sunday and I will make a decision very late over what I will do."
Elsewhere, Arsenal today confirmed the Emirates Cup will be held over the weekend of August 3/4, with Porto, Napoli and Turkish champions Galatasaray the opposition.
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