Arsene Wenger signs new contract: Arsenal manager agrees three-year deal to remain at Emirates until 2017
Wenger was out of contract this summer but has ended fears he could leave the club after agreeing a new deal
Arsene Wenger has agreed a new three-year contract that will see him remain manager of Arsenal until at least 2017, the club have confirmed.
The 64-year-old’s deal runs out at the end of the season and despite stressing he will definitely stay with the club, fears had grown that he could leave after his FA Cup final-winning swansong.
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However, it has been confirmed that Wenger has put pen to paper on an extension that will take the Frenchman into his 19th season in charge of the club, and fans can now begin to look towards next season with their manager's future tied down for the next three years.
Speaking after the club confirmed the news, Wenger said: "I want to stay and to continue to develop the team and the club. We are entering a very exciting period. We have a strong squad, financial stability and huge support around the world. We are all determined to bring more success to this club.
"The club has always shown faith in me and I'm very grateful for that. We have gone through fantastic periods and also periods where we have had to stick together. Every time when that togetherness was tested I got the right response. I think I have shown some loyalty as well towards this club and hopefully we can make some more history. I am sure we can.
"We are entering a very exciting period. We have a strong squad, financial stability and huge support around the world. We are all determined to bring more success to this club."
Wenger cut a relieved figure at Wembley earlier this month as his Arsenal side ended the club’s nine-year wait for a trophy following their 3-2 FA Cup final victory over Hull after extra time.
Having spent £42.5m on bringing Mesut Özil to the club in the summer – breaking Wenger’s previous technique of developing youth rather than spending extravagantly – the manager was under pressure to deliver a trophy this season. With his previous contract expiring at the end of June, many had suggested that victory in the FA Cup final was a must if Wenger was to agree an extension – Wenger himself denied that was the case after the victory – and securing Champions League football for a 17th straight season also appeased fans who believed his time was up.
The club confirmed via their Twitter account that Wenger had signed a new deal on Friday afternoon.
His crowning moment of his career so far remains the ‘Invincibles’ season of 2003-04, when Wenger’s side went the entire Premier League campaign without losing a match as part of their 49-game unbeaten run.
But Wenger nearly eclipsed the ‘Invincibles’ in 2005-06 as the Gunners came within 14 minutes of winning the Champions League, only to see Barcelona battle back to win 2-1 and deny Wenger the European Cup he craves so much.
Club chairman Sir Chips Keswick praised the news with the club keeping hold of a man who "lives and breathe Arsenal.
"We are delighted that Arsène has renewed his contract for a further three years. He is a man of principle, who lives and breathes Arsenal," Keswick said on the club's website www.arsenal.com. "He has established Arsenal for its exciting playing style around the world, continues his commitment to young players and has the ability to bring top-class players to the club. I have no doubt we have an exciting future ahead of us with him leading the team.”
Majority shareholder Stan Kroenke added: “Sustained excellence is the hardest thing to achieve in sport and the fact Arsenal has competed at the top of the game in England and Europe throughout the time Arsène has been manager, is the ultimate testimony to his consistency of performance, talent and ambition.
"We are delighted with the FA Cup success which has added to his already outstanding record. Under his guidance we look forward to adding more trophies in future seasons.”
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