Wenger opens contract talks as he sets title target for Arsenal

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The Independent Football

Having persuaded Cesc Fabregas to stay at Arsenal, for now at least, Arsene Wenger yesterday quashed growing speculation about his own future when he revealed he will soon agree a new deal.

Wenger, who turns 61 in October, and will be out of contract next summer, said: "My situation will be sorted out very soon. It is more a question about timing, all the other ingredients which are in a contract will be easy to sort out. I have to show how much I believe in this team by showing my commitment."

The deal is also a sign of the club's continued faith in Wenger despite his failure to guide Arsenal to a trophy since 2005. In reference to that the manager added: "If I do not do well, and one day the club is not happy with me, I can completely understand that I do not stay here any more. But I believe we will do well."

Wenger has set his sights on delivering a first championship since his "Invincibles" side swept all before them in 2004. "What will be success is to improve from last year, which is to win the League – that is the only benchmark," the Gunners' manager declared.

Success or failure will also, Wenger intimated, influence Fabregas' future. Asked if he believed Fabregas would leave one day Wenger said, "We are based on the short-term here because we have to do well this season. Things change in football."

The captain could feature in Arsenal's opening game of the Premier League season at Anfield tomorrow, but Wenger emphasized he would not rush back Fabregas, or fellow World Cup finalist Robin van Persie. Both have not played in pre-season. "You cannot play three or four players who have not played one game since the start of the season, they will die after an hour," Wenger said.

Wenger said he would decide who plays in goal this morning. Asked if Manuel Almunia was 'No.1 keeper', he said, 'nothing is forever'.

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