Arsene Wenger will fight to stay at Arsenal until 2019, regardless of what happens this season
There is widespread speculation that this could be the Frenchman’s final season in charge of the Gunners as a disappointing campaign unfolds.
The Gunners lost to Manchester City in the final of the League Cup on Sunday, were knocked out of the FA Cup by Nottingham Forest and look almost certain to miss out on the top four in the Premier League.
Their one hope is success in the Europa League – which would also bring Champions League qualification – however they face AC Milan in the next round and other tough tests could await them.
Despite growing calls for Wenger to step aside, the Daily Mail report that sources close to the Frenchman say he will look to cling on to his job. He plans to at the very least see out his contract, which expires in the summer of 2019. The Evening Standard also report that he is keen to stay on.
Arsenal 2017/18 fixtures
Manchester City (H) – Thu March 1
Brighton (A) – Sun March 4
AC Milan (A) – Thu March 8 (Europa League)
Watford (H) – Sun March 11
AC Milan (H) – Thu March 15 (Europa League)
Stoke City (H) – Sun April 1
Southampton (H) – Sat April 7
Newcastle United (A) – Sat April 14
It’s understood that Arsenal will review Wenger’s position at the end of the season.
There is a sense that the club, which has always backed their manager, could be leaning towards a change of coach.
There have been numerous changes behind the scenes including appointments that have removed some power from Wenger. The Daily Mail also report that chief executive Ivan Gazidis pushed for Wenger to become director of football last summer, but was unable to shift the 68-year-old from his current role.
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Contenders to replace Wenger are already emerging with Carlo Ancelotti, Germany coach Joachim Low, Monaco’s Leonardo Jardim, Juventus’ Massimiliano Allegri, Man City coach Mikel Arteta and Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers understood to be among them.