Arsene Wenger is sensationally
preparing to quit as Arsenal manager
if the team fails to meet his targets
over the next month, Goal can
Wenger has told friends he is
considering bringing an end to his 18-
year Gunners reign if they do not win
the FA Cup and finish in the top four
of the Premier League.
The bombshell has been delivered in
recent days and is the firmest
indication yet that the club’s
longest-serving manager could
abruptly leave within four weeks.
It would be a huge blow to Arsenal
chiefs, who agreed a two-year
contract extension with Wenger as
far back as last October and have
continued to give the Frenchman
their unwavering support.
Goal understands that the board has
begun exploring several ‘short-term’
contingency plans in the event that
Wenger calls time on his tenure.
Chief executive Ivan Gazidis said in
January that the hierarchy were
“comfortable and relaxed” about the
fact the manager’s deal was due to
expire in the summer. “Arsene will
be extending with us. And at the
right time we will make that
announcement,” said Gazidis.
However, Wenger is believed to have
been struck by the toxic atmosphere
in the stands in recent times, as
Arsenal supporters grow restless at
the nature of defeats against the
Premier League’s elite clubs on top
of the nine-year trophy drought.
There have been a series of
occasions in the last six months when
there has been a signal from within
the club that Wenger was about to
formally sign the new 7.5 million-
pound-a-year contract that has
remained on the table.
But each time the manager made a
U-turn and put his future beyond
this season on hold.
The results of the last four matches
of the season, which culminates in
the FA Cup final against Hull City on
May 17, are now set to determine
whether the Frenchman formally
commits to a deal that would extend
his reign to a remarkable 20 years.
As reported by Goal last week, those
closest to Wenger had remained in
the dark about the manager’s
intentions following a series of
catastrophic performances which
had left Arsenal’s attempts to
qualify for the Champions League in
However, Wenger’s mood has
improved of late, particularly in the
wake of consecutive league victories
over West Ham and Hull, both of
which were relatively comfortable.
He is said to be confident that his
dual ambitions will be achieved over
the next month and he will sign on
for two more years.
Moreover, the board is continuing to
plan under the proviso that Wenger
will be in command next season, with
the club whittling down their priority
transfer target list, finalising
scouting reports and holding
meetings with agents. Equipment has
also been bought for the training
ground, with the manager fully
involved in all the key decisions.
The uncertainty has repercussions
for his backroom team, who have
also been offered new agreements
that mirror those of the manager
and run until 2016.
The key assistants include Boro
Primorac, assistant manager Steve
Bould, first-team coach Neil
Banfield, goalkeeper coach Gerry
Peyton and fitness coach Tony
Senior medical and technical staff
have also agreed deals that run until
2016, while more junior members of
Wenger’s backroom team are on 12-
month rolling contracts.
It is understood the agreements are
all in place and only need to be
formally rubber-stamped but
Primorac, Colbert and Peyton are all
likely to leave should Wenger make
the shock decision to call time on his
Should a change need to be made at
the helm, it is expected that the
appointment would be regarded as
Wenger gave his squad two days off
following Sunday’s win over Hull and
is believed to have had a short break
The players will return to training at
London Colney on Wednesday
morning as they begin preparations
for Sunday’s home match against
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