ARSE­NAL BREAK SI­LENCE ON WENGER

Man­ager’s fu­ture will be de­cided through mu­tual con­sent

New Straits Times - - Sport -

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.

REUTERS PIC

Arse­nal’s Me­sut Ozil looks de­jected af­ter a Bay­ern goal in their Cham­pi­ons League last 16, sec­ond leg match on Tues­day.

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