Arsene Wenger says his heart is with Arsenal and that he has begun contract talks over extending his stay at Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says he has entered talks to extend his contract with the north London club.
Wenger, the longest serving manager in the Premier League now that Sir Alex Ferguson has retired from Manchester United duty, played down speculation he was set to take over at Paris Saint-Germain next summer.
With new PSG coach Laurent Blanc only signing a one year deal at Parc des Princes – albeit with the option of a second year based on performance – there have been reports that Wenger would move to the Ligue 1 champions upon the expiry of his Arsenal contract in June 2014.
However, Wenger was keen to stress that was not currently on his agenda.
“The link is because I’m French and I know the owners,” said Wenger to the Guardian, speaking whilst in Indonesia on the club’s Asian tour.
“But if that was the case, then I would be there already. My heart is with Arsenal. I am committed to staying longer at this club. We had already a chat with Ivan [Gazidis, Arsenal chief executive]. It went very well… not a problem.”
The Frenchman, now 63 years of age, is the most successful boss in Gunners history in terms of trophy count.
Arsenal may not have won a trophy since the FA Cup final victory over Manchester United in 2005, but Wenger’s haul whilst in charge of three Premier League titles, four FA Cups and four Community Shields is unmatched amongst any of his predecessors.
Whilst the Gunners have been outspent by almost every major club in Europe, Arsene Wenger has kept Arsenal competitive despite being hamstrung in the transfer market.
Stadium repayments, poor sponsorship deals that needed to be agreed long term to guarantee the club’s financial future and billionaire playthings as opposition in Chelsea and Manchester City have all contributed to making the job of Arsenal manager an increasingly difficult one, but the fact that the Gunners have not fallen away dramatically in the way that – for example – Liverpool have, is testament to his abilities as coach, economist and in the transfer market.
With financial shackles gradually coming off, Arsene Wenger’s performance this season could be the most defining of his Arsenal career.