Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will be offered a new contract once his current deal runs out in 2014, despite the club going years without wining a trophy.
Gunners chief executive Ivan Gazidis was speaking to the Daily Telegraph when he revealed the north London club’s desire to keep the Frenchman at the helm at Emirates Stadium for many more years.
Gazidis dismissed it would not be an offer sparked by sentimentality over Wenger’s early success with Arsenal, but the belief that he can take the club to great things once again, despite their failure to secure any meaningful silverware for seven years.
“It’s not a sense of sentimentalism, not a reward for services, it’s a belief that we have an incredible manager who loves this club and is the best man to lead us forward,” he said.
“We’re really confident about the direction that the club is heading. I feel he can keep going for a long time.
“He’s in fantastic shape and he’s as driven as he’s ever been and excited as ever.”
Gazidis wasn’t only in praise of Wenger’s managerial skills, but remarked on the 62-year-old’s playing prowess and how he is still spritely despite his age.
“He played in some staff games recently. When you put him out on the football field, he is still fit, quick and a good footballer,” he added.
“It’s fantastic to see his endless enthusiasm. I really have learnt from Arsène and the players learn from him as well.”
He also went on to speak of the importance of Wenger to the club as a while and how that will factor when the time comes to choose his replacement – Gazidis also indicated that Wenger could have a part in choosing his successor.
“As a club, we have to make sure that all of the things that Arsène has brought to the club are enshrined in our DNA to make sure that, when Arsène decides it’s time, we are in a position to take his ideas and work forward,” he explained.
“The values that Arsène has brought to the club together with the values that the club had before Arsène are what will inform us and give us the framework as to who might take over from him in the longer term. He is written into our DNA.”