Stan Kroenke to offer Arsene Wenger full support at Arsenal board meeting
Manager has seen position come under question following recent cup defeats
Arsene Wenger will be assured over his future today when he meets with Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke at a monthly board meeting.
Following Arsenal's depressing 3-1 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League, which came just days after the Gunners' shock exit from the FA Cup at the hands of Blackburn Rovers, speculation over the Frenchman's future has intensified.
Many fans are calling for Wenger to leave with the club almost certain to extend their trophyless spell to nine years unless they produce a miracle in Munich in three weeks time.
Despite calls in certain sections for Wenger to step down, the long standing manager has been unequivocal about his position and has consistently said he will honour his contract, which expires in 18 months. There have also been reports that he will extend his current contract in the summer.
A decision from the Arsenal owners would likely be the only way Wenger would leave the club, but it's understood they retain full support for the 63-year-old who has delivered three league titles and four FA Cups in his time as manager.
At today's board meeting Wenger's future will not even be on the agenda. It's believed there will be no special show of support because the support is already there.
Kroenke was in attendance at Tuesday's Champions League tie at the Emirates along with fellow billionaire shareholder Alisher Usmanov.
It is understood the American owner concedes this is a transitional period for Arsenal following the recent sales of one captain after another with the departures of Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie. Kroenke has also been satisfied by Wenger's consistent ability to ensure qualify Arsenal for the Champions League, an achievement that has been vital to the club's financial health. They currently lie fifth in the Premier League, four points from fourth placed Tottenham.
Wenger will likely be given another season, whether Arsenal qualify for the Champions League or not. A budget of £70m has reportedly been set aside for summer transfers so Wenger can rebuild a team capable of competing for the Premier League.
Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina, Barcelona striker David Villa, Fiorentina striker Stevan Jovetic, Borussia Dortmund attacker Mario Gotze and midfielders Victor Wanyama of Celtic and Toulouse's Etienne Capoue have all been linked with the club.
As well as the board, Wenger retains the faith of his current squad.
“We’ve got the best man in the job to get our heads back to where they should be,” said striker Theo Walcott.
“Everyone in football looks too short-term,” said captain Thomas Vermaelen. “They don’t look at the long term, and he’s done a lot for this club. It doesn’t mean that because it’s not going well at the moment we don’t stand behind him. You have to look at the long term. He is the right man for this club and we are all behind him."
Ironically, Arsenal may have to fight to retain the services of Wenger this summer. Jose Mourinho is expected to leave his post at the Bernabeu at the end of the season and Real Madrid are known admirers of the Arsenal manager.
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