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Arsenal 'signs Wenger for two more years'

Soccer

Arsene Wenger has agreed to a new two-year deal to remain as Arsenal manager, according to UK media reports.

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The 67-year-old has been in charge of the London club for 21 years and his contract expires next month.

He met with majority owner Stan Kroenke yesterday (Australian time) to determine his future with the club’s board being notified at a meeting overnight, according to the BBC.

An announcement is expected on Wednesday.

The FA Cup winners are refusing to confirm widespread reports that Wenger, 67, has agreed terms on a new contract at the Emirates Stadium.

Wenger’s future has been up in the air for much of the season as both he and the club refused to publicly announce their intentions.

Having failed to qualify for the Champions League place for the first time since 1996, the pressure on Wenger’s future undoubtedly increased with the Frenchman previously admitting that the continuing uncertainty led to an “absolutely horrendous” environment at the club this season and contributed to their fifth-place finish in the Premier League.

“Once the game starts and you are a fan, you stand behind the team, that is what I have not accepted this season and I will never accept it,” he said.

“Outside of the game I never had any word with any journalist in 20 years when they criticised my decisions and it is the same with the fans.

“But when a game starts you support your team. We have played some games in a hostile environment and I never accept that.”

Nine wins from their final 10 matches saw the Gunners turn what looked like a disappointing season into a somewhat positive one with Saturday’s FA Cup success moving Arsenal ahead of Manchester United as the most successful team in the competition’s history.

Following that victory at Wembley, Wenger was asked if he would be preparing a presentation ahead of the meeting.

“The best presentation is to watch the game,” he said.

“I’ve played until the end of my contract, which is today basically. I think I have shown you that I have exactly the same commitment.

“For me, the contract does not have special meaning but, because of the debate, maybe I should have sorted that out earlier.”

-PA

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