Belfast Telegraph

Gunners chief fails to back Wenger

By Jack Austin

Arsenal chairman Sir Chips Keswick has released a statement on Arsene Wenger's future as the pressure continues to grow on the Frenchman.

Arsenal were thrashed 10-2 as a result of back-to-back 5-1 defeats to Bayern Munich as they were eliminated from the Champions League last 16 for the seventh consecutive season.

The Gunners also dropped out of the Premier League's top four with defeat to Liverpool last weekend and fans staged a protest outside the Emirates against their manager ahead of the second leg with Bayern on Tuesday.

Wenger is out of contract in the summer and has yet to make a decision on whether he will continue as boss, despite there being a new two-year contract on the table.

In a statement posted on the club's website, Keswick failed to back his manager and just insisted a mutual decision would be taken in the summer.

He said: "We are fully aware of the attention focused on the club and understand the debate.

"We respect that fans are entitled to their different individual opinions but we will always run this great football club with its best long-term interests at heart.

"Arsene has a contract until the end of the season. Any decisions will be made by us mutually and communicated at the right time in the right way."

Wenger has, meanwhile, admitted fan protests will play a part in his decision.

Ahead of tomorrow's FA Cup quarter-final with Lincoln, Wenger said: "I consider everything. It will not be the most important factor.

"I don't work for my image, I work for this club. I have shown I love this club and am loyal to this club.

"I think I have made the right decisions and respect the values of this club."

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