Arsene Wenger confirms he will be signing a new contract with Arsenal to take him past 1,010 matches in charge of Gunners

Wenger admits his desire is to stay and expects a new deal to be announced very soon

Arsene Wenger maintains he wants to stay at Arsenal - and that there should be “no uncertainty at all” over his future.

The 64-year-old French coach will take charge of the Gunners for his 1,000th game at Chelsea on Saturday, but as yet there has been no confirmation Wenger will be staying on past the end of the season.

However, Wenger insists he is not considering moving on and that the formalities of a new deal will be announced soon.

Asked if he would still be at Arsenal after 1,010 matches, Wenger replied: "I think so, yes.

"I want to do well, and the expectation level and the impatience is there.

"My commitment is full. I do not want to look somewhere else. I want to stay here. There shouldn't be any uncertainty at all.

"My desire is to stay."

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Wenger maintained he did not want speculation over his contract saga to deflect attention from Arsenal's run-in.

"It will be done soon, but I want now to focus on the end of the season," said Wenger, whose side could close the gap on leaders Chelsea to just a point and are through to the semi-finals of the FA Cup.

Wenger arrived as an unheralded coach in late September 1996, and soon moved to alter the psyche of the club.

He recalled: "I changed a few habits [of the players], which isn't easy in a team where the average age is 30 years.

"At the first match the players were chanting 'we want our Mars bars'. Then, at half-time I asked my physio Gary Lewin: 'Nobody is talking, what's wrong with them?' and he replied: 'They are hungry'.

"I hadn't given them their chocolate before the game. It was funny."

Wenger played an integral role in Arsenal's move to their new 60,000-seater home at Ashburton Grove, but one which has yet to see any new trophies delivered.

The Gunners boss accepts the north London club were always set for a tough period to maintain their competitiveness, which was made more difficult given the sudden seemingly limitless funds of their rivals.

"We made that (stadium) decision knowing that we could suffer a bit financially, but what was happening at the same time as that decision was that Chelsea and then Manchester City made huge investments, so we had the double effect," Wenger said.

"We were not only competing with the clubs who were at our level, but suddenly two other clubs came in. We did not expect that at that time."

PA

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