Football

Wenger denies PSG approach

Arsene Wenger has formally denied that he has already been offered a contract by Ligue 1 champions Paris St Germain with the Arsenal boss still yet to announce whether he will be in charge at the Emirates Stadium next season.

The 67-year-old has kept the footballing world guessing if he will sign a new contract with the Gunners but declared after Saturday's 3-1 defeat at West Brom that he has made up his mind.

That loss at the Hawthorns was Arsenal's fourth in their last five Premier League games and they now sit sixth in the table.

Wenger has increasingly split the Arsenal fan-base with two protests organised before recent matches and two planes flown over the West Brom game carrying conflicting messages - one of support and one against any new deal being signed.

The Frenchman has previously said if he is to end his two-decade association with Arsenal he intends to manage elsewhere, with PSG the logical move given their wealth and the stuttering form under current coach Unai Emery.

But Wenger insists he has not already been approached by the Parisians, who were in Arsenal's Champions League group this season.

Once again using a now-popular phrase from United States president Donald Trump, Wenger told BeIN Sports: "It is a false rumour, that is what you call 'fake news'. I formally deny it, it is not true."

Despite their hapless league form and an English-record Champions League aggregate defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich - who won 10-2 against Arsenal over the two legs of their Round-of-16 tie - several reports claim Wenger is set to sign the two-year deal currently on the table.

He has received support from Arsenal striker and compatriot Olivier Giroud, who claims everyone at the club wants to see him stay.

He told Canal Plus: "We want Arsene Wenger to renew his contract, to continue his adventure, because we support him.

"We hope we can win the cup and that Arsenal qualify for the Champions League."

Finishing in the top four, as Wenger has done in all 20 of his full seasons at the helm, is seen as the requirement by the Arsenal board but their resolve has never been tested as the result has always been delivered.

Now, with Chelsea 19 points clear of Arsenal at the top of the table and Wenger's side languishing in sixth, even the manager himself admits the club are in a tough battle to maintain that record.

Meanwhile, PSG's dominance of French football in recent seasons has been challenged this year as, with Emery in charge, the club sit three points behind leaders Monaco in Ligue 1 and were on the receiving end of Champions League history when Barcelona beat them 6-1 to overturn a four-goal first-leg deficit.
- PA SPORT

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