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Arsene Wenger's deal ends in 2017..

Arsene Wenger denies Arsenal contract extension

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Arsene Wenger vehemently denied that he has signed or even been offered an extension to his Arsenal contract.

The Frenchman has faced fierce criticism after a season without silverware with a number of Gunners fans staging protests during recent games against Norwich and Manchester City.

While it appears as though Wenger will never be sacked, it has been widely suggested that there could be an amicable parting of ways when his current deal expires in 2017.

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A report in The Times threatened to throw that theory up in the air on Friday morning with respected journalist Matt Hughes claiming the Arsenal board were pushing Wenger to sign a two-year extension before the start of next season.

That report claims majority shareholder Stan Kroenke is ready to give Wenger his full backing despite a turbulent season at the Emirates. The American sports tycoon wants an answer by October at the latest so he can plan for a replacement.

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Denial

However, Wenger says there is simply no truth to the report, telling reporters: "That is completely wrong. I don't know where it comes from. You can treat that as an invention.

"It is absolutely false. They could have checked with the club and it would have been denied. I think about the next game. I have full commitment for as long as I am under contract."

Manchester City v Arsenal - Premier League

Fan reaction

Needless to say, upon hearing the news, Arsenal fans were less than impressed with the club's reported decision. Even fans who support Wenger could not understand the justification for extending his current deal.

Possible explanation

Assuming a publication like The Times would never write something with some kind of justification, it could be claimed that the Arsenal board are trying to put pressure on Wenger to make a decision on his future.

The Frenchman has rightly earned enough respect from the board to choose his own exit point but they will be hoping he will be able to confirm his long-term plans within the next few months.

Emirates executives are all too aware of the potential pitfalls they face. Manchester United were left high and dry when Sir Alex Ferguson made a snap decision to retire in 2013, at which point they had already missed out on Carlo Ancelotti and Pep Guardiola.

Arsenal will want plenty of time to evaluate potential candidates and produce a shortlist, leaving them with the best possible chance of a seamless transition. This story puts Wenger's future on the agenda and will force him to think about where he will be when the 2017/18 season starts.

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No decision

But it is clear Wenger has yet to make a decision, saying: "The focus is to respect my contract. I have extended my contract at a period where it was vital for the club.

"I will see where I am personally and where the club stands."

Arsenal v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League

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Topics:
Jack Wilshere
Football
Premier League
Arsene Wenger
Theo Walcott
Arsenal

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