Wenger set for new Arsenal deal and £100m summer spree
But Gunners boss won't sign before the end of the season, and things could still go wrong
IF THERE is one thing that Manchester United's travails under David Moyes have proved, it is that replacing a long-serving manager can have a big impact on a side. However, Arsenal have yet to tie down Arsene Wenger with a new contract at the Emirates and he is now unlikely to sign until the end of the season.
But the prospect of a £100m transfer kitty this summer and the prospect of a new era of success is likely to ensure that he will put pen to paper, says the Daily Telegraph. The Gunners boss, who has been in his job for ten years longer than his nearest rival in the English game, Exeter boss Paul Tisdale, is widely expected to agree a new deal in the summer. The speed with which he dismissed rumours linking him to Barcelona last week will have reassured Arsenal supporters who want him to stay.
"The club remain extremely confident that Wenger will extend his deal, probably by three more years, but there is a growing acceptance that he will not interrupt his preparations for the final two months of the season to deal with contract negotiations," reports the Telegraph.
The paper notes that Wenger is on course to end the Gunners' nine-year trophy drought, and that a third double of the Frenchman's reign is still a possibility.
"The flip side, however, is that failing to win a trophy from this position would arguably amount to the biggest single disappointment of Wenger's 18 years at the club," it notes. "[And] Wenger has often suggested that he would not want to stay if he felt that he had underperformed or lost significant support from the club's fan base."
Wenger will take charge of his 1,000th game as Arsenal boss when his team take on Chelsea at the weekend. Last week ESPN claimed that Arsenal hoped to use the occasion to announce a new deal with their 64-year-old boss, and hinted that the delay was down to interest from Barcelona.
Meanwhile the Sunday People has claimed that the lack of a new deal is because Wenger wants to maintain his grip of the club's transfer policy. "The Gunners boss is anxious to retain full control on comings and goings as he prepares to commit his future to the north Londoners," explained the paper.
It he does commit and get the assurances he wants then Wenger will find himself with £100m at his disposal, says the Telegraph. "It all means that Arsenal can afford a world-class striker in the £40 million price range this summer and still make one or two cheaper but substantial additions in other positions."