Football

Wenger to accept two-year deal at Arsenal: Reports

Arsene Wenger has told Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke he will accept the Premier League club's offer of a new two-year contract, according to reports yesterday.

Wenger met Gunners majority shareholder Kroenke and chief executive Ivan Gazidis on Monday to discuss his future before his contract expires next month.

The 67-year-old has been heavily criticised this season, with Arsenal fans calling for his resignation after their team failed to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in 20 years.

Suggestions that Arsenal may insist on hiring a director of football to work with Wenger had sparked claims the Frenchman was considering ending his 21-year reign.

But, after leading Arsenal to an impressive 2-1 FA Cup final victory over Premier League champions Chelsea, with Kroenke watching from the stands last Saturday, Wenger had hinted he was willing to stay.

And the Daily Mail and Daily Mirror reported Wenger has informed American tycoon Kroenke, who remains a firm supporter of his manager, that he wants to remain in charge of the north London club.

ANNOUNCEMENT

A formal announcement of Wenger's new contract is expected to be made today.

"The club are planning to make an announcement on Wednesday afternoon," a spokesman said, after refusing to confirm the reports of Wenger's decision.

Wenger, who has won three EPL titles and a record seven FA Cups with the Gunners, attended an Arsenal board meeting yesterday when the deal was expected to be rubber-stamped.

He will outline his plans for close-season signings and, while there may still be some tinkering with his backroom staff, it will not be without his approval.

Gazidis would still like to bring in a sporting director to coordinate issues ranging from scouting to youth development and analytics.

But Wenger has been told he will retain control of the key areas of team selection and transfers. - AFP

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