Belfast Telegraph

Wenger could commit future

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admits he is thinking about extending his contract with the club and almost certainly ending his managerial career at the Emirates Stadium.

The Frenchman accepts that, at 61, he only has one more long-term contract in him bearing in mind his stated intention to step down from management at the age of 65 and feels that if he was ever to leave Arsenal for a new challenge it would have to be now, with one year remaining on his existing Arsenal contract.

However, he reassured Gunners fans that he has "no desire" to go anywhere else. Wenger told The Observer: "I am at a stage where if I extend my contract it means I will finish my career at club level at Arsenal. If I go for a different challenge - I have been offered many challenges you know - it has to be now."

He added: "That's a decision I have to make. But basically, I have no desire to change from here. I have one more year, and we are maybe thinking about extending it."

On the subject of stepping down from the pressures of football management at 65, Wenger added: "I cannot see that my enthusiasm will drop, but I am not necessarily the same resistance physically as Alex Ferguson. At 65 I will certainly move to some different job, unless I still feel like I feel today."

The future of Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas appears to have been resolved for the coming season at least, with the Spaniard saying he is "100% focused"on playing for the London club after they rejected two offers from Barcelona, the club where he began his career. Wenger insisted the club's strong financial position allowed them to resist Barca's advances.

"He was torn," Wenger admitted.

"But I must say that during the whole period Cesc was remarkably respectful of Arsenal. He has never shown a lack of love for the club, and in the end we managed to hold on to him.

"What people do not realise is we can say no to anybody in the world because we are in a healthy financial situation.

"If we are £300million in debt, we cannot keep our best players. People have to understand that we were strong with the Fabregas case because we are well managed. We could afford to be strong, we can afford to say no to any number, because we just feel we want to keep our best players."


From Belfast Telegraph