Arsenal board to back under-fire Wenger

Arsenal will respond to the pressure being heaped upon manager Arsene Wenger by backing the long-serving boss in the transfer market and confirming the Frenchman as the right man to lead the club, with Wenger meeting owner Stan Kroenke on Thursday, the Daily Mail has reported.

Kroenke travelled to London to watch the Gunners’ 3-1 Champions League defeat against Bayern Munich earlier this week, a result that brought more focus on to Wenger and the perceived failings of both him and his team.

With Arsenal facing a mammoth task to overturn the deficit when they go to Germany in March, the club are facing the prospect of another trophy-less year, after being eliminated from both the FA Cup and the League Cup against lower league opposition, and failing to make an impact on the title race.

Arsenal are currently fifth in the league, four points adrift of Tottenham Hotspur, who hold the final Champions League qualification position, and face Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

Wenger, who was publically supported by captain Thomas Vermaelen this week, is expected to be told that he has an extensive transfer kitty available should he choose to use it, after Arsenal experienced a successful year in business, agreeing more lucrative marketing deals.

The manager’s targets are said to include Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina, Celtic midfielder Victor Wanyama, Etienne Capoue, of Toulouse, and Borussia Dortmund’s attacking midfielder Mario Gotze.

See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Arsenal v Aston Villa

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