LONDON, Feb. 17: Arsene Wenger said on Friday he would make a decision in March or April on whether to extend his 20-year spell at Arsenal, but that whatever he decided he would be managing a team next season.
The second longest-serving manager in the history of the Premier League, Wenger is out of contract at the end of the season.
He has not won the league title since 2004, and calls for him to end his association with Arsenal have grown louder since the team’s 5-1 Champions League thrashing at Bayern Munich on Wednesday.
That first-leg defeat is almost certain to condemn Arsenal to their seventh successive Champions League exit at the competition’s first knockout stage.
“I will decide (my) future in March or April, but I don’t (exactly) know when,” Wenger told a news conference on Friday, ahead of his team’s fifth-round FA Cup clash away to non-league Sutton United on Monday.
“I speak to the board but I don’t want to speak about how they view my future. What’s important is the club, not my future. No matter what happens, I will manage next season whether it is here or not. That is for sure.”
With Arsenal fourth in the Premier League table and trailing leaders Chelsea by 10 points with 13 games to play, the FA Cup appears once again to be the North London club’s last hope of silverware this season.
It was the subject of Wenger’s future, however, that dominated the manager’s new conference.
“We have to focus on the real problems and they are the way we play football, not my future… Even if I go, Arsenal will not win every single game in the future,” the Frenchman said.
“I think what is important is that the club makes the right decision for the future..”
Wenger, who may be without injured defender Laurent Koscielny for the cup tie, denied reports of a dressing room bust-up after the defeat at Bayern’s Allianz Arena.(REUTERS)