Arsene Wenger changes tune, says preference is to stay with Arsenal
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger could continue in management for four more years and his preference is to stay at the north London club, the Frenchman was quoted as saying by British media on Saturday.
Wenger, whose side were thrashed 5-1 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Wednesday, said this week that he would make a decision in March or April on whether to extend his 20-year spell at the club.
The 67-year-old added on Friday, however, that he would definitely still be a manager next season, whether at Arsenal or “somewhere else”.
Wenger denied in media reports published on Saturday that this was meant as a threat and said that his preference was to remain with his current club.
“It is not a threat at all,” said Wenger, who has faced severe criticism in the wake of Wednesday’s first-leg defeat.
“My preference is always to manage Arsenal and I have shown that. But I think that I am adult enough to analyse the situation.”
The second longest-serving manager in the history of the Premier League, Wenger is out of contract at the end of the season.
In drawing comparisons between himself and former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson, the Premier League’s longest serving boss, Wenger also said that he could stay in the job for another four years.
“Ferguson was four years older than I am today (when he retired),” Wenger said. “So maybe there are four seasons left — or maybe there are some more or some less, I don't know.
“Everybody is different on that front. But Ferguson has some other interests in his life. He was an unbelievable manager, but when you have had enough you have had enough. And I am not at that stage.”
Wenger has not won the league title since 2004, and calls for him to end his association with Arsenal have grown louder since Wednesday’s mauling in Germany.
That defeat is almost certain to condemn Arsenal to their seventh successive Champions League exit at the competition’s first knockout stage.