Bergkamp seeks final year

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The Independent Football

Dennis Bergkamp has confirmed he will retire from football at the end of this season if he is not offered a final one-year contract by Arsenal.

However, the Dutchman wants to carry on for a final season if he is reassured by the club's manager, Arsène Wenger, that he still has a prominent part to play in the first team at Highbury.

The Frenchman has already indicated that Bergkamp would be likely to start games less often, with his Dutch compatriot Robin van Persie having been given the nod ahead of him at West Bromwich Albion on Monday night.

But Bergkamp, who will be 36 next week and has been at Arsenal for almost a decade since joining for £7.5m from Internazionale in June 1995, does not want to call it a day just yet.

"I've said already a few months ago that I would like to carry on and the boss has said we would have a talk about it in the next few weeks," he revealed.

"Until then, I don't know what's going to happen as I don't know what he has in mind. Depending on that, I want to make my decision.

"I would like to know what kind of team will still be here next year - is it going to be a much younger team for the future?

"I'm not going to be part of that future, of course, in three or four years' time. But you want to have a very good team that is challenging for trophies next season," Bergkamp said.

"I want to listen to what he has to say and what he thinks about my position. I still love football, that's the main thing, and it's difficult to walk away from that.

"That plays a major part in my decision. But there could be a lot of negative things coming from the boss as well, so we'll see."