ARSENAL BREAK SILENCE ON WENGER
Manager’s future will be decided through mutual consent
ARSENAL have broken their silence on the future of manager Arsene Wenger to insist ‘any decisions will be made by us mutually and communicated at the right time in the right way.’
Wenger is under pressure with his contract set to expire at the end of the season and Arsenal out of the Champions League and off the pace in the Premier League.
In a statement released yesterday, club chairman Sir Chips Keswick attempted to calm the storm surrounding the Arsenal manager — while admitting the eventual decision would be a shared one.
The statement read: “We are fully aware of the attention currently focused on the club and understand the debate.
“We respect that fans are entitled to their different individual opinions but we will always run this great football club with their best long-term interests at heart.
“Arsene has a contract until the end of the season. Any decisions will be made by us mutually and communicated at the right time in the right way.”
The statement comes after a minority of Arsenal fans protested against Wenger before this week’s Champions League humiliation at the hands of Bayern Munich.
The Frenchman is yet to decide whether he will stay on as Gunners boss beyond this summer, though he has said he will be managing next season — whether in north London or elsewhere.
Earlier yesterday, Wenger insisted that supporter opinion would not force him out of the Emirates Stadium hotseat.
The Frenchman said: “I work hard for 20 years to make fans happy. When you lose, I understand they are not.
“I don’t want to judge that and will give my commitment to my work.”
Asked whether supporter opinion will be one of the main factors when he makes his decision over his future, Wenger said: “It will influence. But it won’t be the most important factor.”
Sportsmail revealed on Wednesday that Arsenal are facing an exodus of stars this summer as problems mount for the manager.
Star midfielder Mesut Ozil has been offered a new deal worth more than £200,000 (RM1.1 million) a week but there are fears he will reject it.
And in a further blow, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who has 15 months left on his deal, is seriously considering his future.
The club are yet to open talks with Jack Wilshere — who is on loan at Bournemouth — over a new deal despite the fact his contract expires in 2018.
The club are resigned to losing Alexis Sanchez, who is refusing to sign a new deal worth £180,000 a week.
Lucas Perez is ready to quit after growing frustrated with his lack of action, while goalkeeper David Ospina is also eager for regular football.
Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil looks dejected after a Bayern goal in their Champions League last 16, second leg match on Tuesday.