Arsenal to offer Wenger new contract

Arsene Wenger is to be offered a new contract at Arsenal, ESPN has reported. The manager still has around a year-and-a-half on his existing deal, but the Gunners’ chief executive, Ivan Gazidis, is keen to tie down Wenger for the long-term.

Wenger, 62, was appointed by Arsenal in 1996, with his arrival announced in August even though Wenger, then manager of Japanese side Nagoya Grampus 8, did not take charge until October 1. The Frenchman replaced Bruce Rioch at Highbury, then the home of the club.

The move to extend Wenger’s stay at the club comes at a time when the contracts of a number of big-name players have come perilously close to expiration, with some of them moving on and others remaining in limbo. Samir Nasri had a year left on his contract when he joined Manchester City a year ago, while this summer Robin van Persie was in the same situation before he completed a switch to Manchester United. Theo Walcott’s contract expires in 2013 as well.

Gazidis said: “It’s not a sense of sentimentalism, not a reward for services, it’s a belief that we have an incredible manager who loves this club and is the best man to lead us forward.

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