Arsene Wenger set to remain at Arsenal after verbally agreeing to extend his Emirates Stadium stay for another two years

 
Ross McLean
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Wenger has been in charge of Arsenal since 1996 (Source: Getty)

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is expected to outline his plan to transform the Gunners into Premier League title winners on Wednesday after agreeing a new two-year contract at the club.

Wenger verbally consented to extend his stay at Emirates Stadium during a meeting with majority shareholder Stan Kroenke on Monday, which was set to be formally ratified during Tuesday’s board meeting.

The exact details of any restructuring are not yet known, but any changes to the management hierarchy is not anticipated to impact upon the Frenchman’s core decision making.

Ever since chief executive Ivan Gazidis pressed his “catalyst for change” agenda in April, Wenger has contested the need for widespread amendments to the way technical matters are dealt with at Emirates Stadium

Wenger’s new deal, meanwhile, will see him contracted to Arsenal until the summer of 2019, extending his stay with the north Londoners to 23 years, having joined the club in 1996.

Confirmation of Wenger staying ends a turbulent period for the 67-year-old, who has been the lightning rod for criticism since the end of January as Arsenal’s form plummeted amid speculation over his future.

Despite a recovery which saw them win seven of their last eight league matches, the Gunners finished fifth in the table and failed to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in 20 years.

Wenger conceded after the final match of the league season against Everton that the uncertainty over his future had impacted upon Arsenal’s campaign, although described some of the criticism he has received this term as “disgraceful”.

Fans turned on Kroenke during the Everton clash as they called for the American sports tycoon, who also owns the Los Angeles Rams, Colorado Rapids, Colorado Avalanche and Denver Nuggets, to sell his shares.

The furore surrounding Wenger has been tempered somewhat by Arsenal’s improved end to the season and them defying the odds to beat newly-crowned Premier League champions Chelsea to lift their third FA Cup in four seasons at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.

Victory over their London rivals gave Wenger a record-breaking seventh FA Cup success – surpassing former Aston Villa manager George Ramsay’s tally of six – and ensured Arsenal are now the country’s most successful club in the tournament’s history with 13 wins.

But it is Arsenal’s failure to win, or sustain a challenge for, a top-flight title since 2004 which has irked Arsenal supporters and will need addressing if Wenger is to prevent the heat from returning.

High on the to-do list is resolving the futures of star names such as Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, who are both out of contract in 2018 and see themselves as deserving of a salary which places them alongside the Premier League elite.

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