Arsene Wenger wants to 'prove himself' before signing contract
Arsenal manager plays waiting game - and reveals Mesut Ozil signing was a close shave
ARSENE WENGER and the Arsenal board have held initial talks about renewing his contract when it expires next June 0- but the Frenchman wants "senses that he must still prove himself" before putting pen to paper, the Daily Telegraph reports
It's now eight-and-a-half years since the Gunners won any silverware (the 2005 FA Cup) and though they are in the Champions League for the 16th consecutive season, fans in recent months have let it be known that a club of Arsenal's stature should have loftier ambitions.
Paris Saint-Germain, who recently appointed Laurent Blanc on a one-year contract, continue to make eyes at Wenger but patience is the name of the game for the moment. "There's no need to plan, we are in no hurry," said Wenger. "We are in September and my contract finishes in June. There's a long way to go."
Pressed on where his ambitions may lie, Wenger was in no mood to give anything away, replying: "I want to do well with this club and in the end I will sit down and think how well have I done with the team I have had. That has to be sufficient for me to decide yes or no. One of the main judgments you can have about a manager is how well he does with his team."
Wenger will be helped in his quest to do well with the arrival of Mesut Ozil, and yesterday he gave more details about the lengthy negotiations that ended up with the German's £42.5m transfer from Real Madrid.
"I thought we had a chance to do it, a small one, but we worked very hard on it until the end," explained Wenger, who was still working frantically to secure Ozil's signature on Sunday 1 September, the eve of transfer deadline day. "It was very complicated because the timing was short… On Sunday, when I came to the Tottenham game at 2pm, I thought we will manage to do it. I knew we were 90 per cent there."
Wenger predicts Ozil will grow into one of the "leaders of our team", the same of which can't be said of Nicklas Bendtner, who judging by a photo posted on Instragram on Thursday reveals not so much a leader as a lardarse. The Danish striker was photographed working out in a Copenhagen gym under the beady eye of personal trainer Thomas Jorgensen.
According to the Metro, Arsenal have ordered Bendtner to undergo "a strict diet and training regime" if he harbours any ambition to return to the Emirates. "He needs more fitness and has had a few problems," admitted Jorgensen. "But it is not as if he needs to lose 20 kilogrammes."
As the Metro says, "his dishevelled appearance suggested otherwise." ·