Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke has put an end to any speculation of the club seeking a replacement for Arsene Wenger by declaring he wants the long-serving manager to remain at the Emirates Stadium past the expiration of his current contract, the
Wenger’s deal is due to expire at the end of the season but Kroenke is unequivocal in his backing for the Frenchman, who marks 17 years with the Gunners on Saturday. “There’s no one I feel more strongly about and I think he is doing a great job,” Kroenke said. “We have been very supportive, we have never wavered, we are proud of him, proud of the club, the way the club is run and how it holds itself out to the world.”
Kroenke added that Wenger was still central to everything the club hopes to achieve and, indeed, is the driving force behind much of the club’s approach. “Arsene knows how we feel, what our philosophy is, what we want to do and I feel like we are totally aligned. I think he wants to do it the exact same way as we do,” Kroenke said.
Talks have begun over a new contract while Wenger insists he needs to prove himself again after a rocky patch in recent years led to some supporters calling for his dismissal. There is also the question of Wenger’s age to consider as he turns 64 in late October. But Kroenke believes Wenger will make his own decision as to extending his stay – or not – in north London.
“Arsene is his own man, he will make up his own mind,” Kroenke said. “There is a lot of pressure in the job, he has handled it very well but at some point we all make up our minds whether we continue in our careers.”
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