Arsene Wenger future: Arsenal concerned by delay to new deal, however board ready to hand manager £100m transfer kitty
Reports suggest the Frenchman will be given a huge budget to spend this summer if he stays at the Emirates
There is understood to be slight concern at Arsenal over the delay in Arsene Wenger signing a new contract, however the Gunners hierarchy remain confident he will eventually put pen to paper.
The Evening Standard report that Wenger, who will take charge of his 1,000th Arsenal game this weekend, is waiting to see how the remainder of the season plays out before committing his future to the club.
The Gunners also remain in the FA Cup, where they are the clear favourites to lift the trophy and end the club's nine-year wait for a trophy.
With a crucial couple of months to come, Wenger's contract hinges on how the team fare and the fans' reaction to his management.
Wenger is eventually expected to commit his future to the club.
Should he do so, he could have £100m at his disposal according to reports. Despite an impressive campaign, there remains areas of the team clearly in need of improvement, particular in attack.
The 64-year-old has publicly maintained that results would be the principal factor in his decision and bringing an end to the trophy drought would be a significant platform upon which to launch the next phase of the club’s development.
However, Wenger is also thought to have been shaken by the vitriolic reaction among some sections of Arsenal supporters, having faced sporadic chants of “you don’t know what you’re doing” last season and anger on the opening day of this campaign against Aston Villa amid frustration at a lack of spending.
The mood has since changed due to Mesut Ozil’s £42.4m arrival and the team’s impressive campaign in which they lie just four points behind Chelsea.
Wenger is thought to be acutely aware that it is possible that criticism could return should the club fall short this season and so he is prepared to gauge both his team’s performance and the fans’ response before resisting the overtures of a number of clubs, including Barcelona and Paris St-Germain.
Chief executive Ivan Gazidis was adamant Wenger will stay when speaking at the announcement of Arsenal’s £150m kit deal with Puma in January and even if the Gunners end the season empty handed, it will still be a huge call for the Frenchman to walk away.
A new three-year deal would enable him to oversee a period in which the club will reap the dividends of years of financial prudence.
The club relied heavily on high season ticket prices to remain competitive while dealing with the economic burden of moving to Emirates Stadium as Wenger was restricted in the transfer market and focused on developing young players. With key sponsorship agreements renewed and the club’s revenue soon expected to surpass £300m a year, Arsenal have the capability to compete in the transfer market; having spent years operating under difficult circumstances, Wenger would surely want the chance to spend the fruits of his labours.
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