Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has conceded that he is still yet to finalise terms over a new contract with Gunners chiefs, but is adamant that the result of tomorrow's FA Cup final against Hull City will have no bearing on continued negotiations.
Wenger leads his side into their first FA Cup final since 2005 on Saturday evening, looking to finally put paid to a nine-year trophy drought that continues to cast a shadow over his fine work at the Emirates Stadium over the last decade.
The 64-year-old's current deal expires at the end of the current campaign, but despite allowing lingering speculation to run right through the last six months the Frenchman has once again insisted that he expects to take charge of Arsenal again next season.
He told The Express: "The result of Saturday's FA Cup final will have no influence on my future at Arsenal. When I've been part of a club for 18 years, it would be a bit ridiceulous to base my decision on one single match, don't you think?
"Will I be the manager next season? Yes, normally. It's not completely finalised yet, but it should happen. But it's true that I am very proud of the team's attitude, because they have been through very tough moments.
"And they have always answered scrutiny with positive thinking. "Winning the FA Cup is our main goal now."
Despite Wenger's pleas to the contrary tomorrow's Wembley showdown surely marks a crossroads match in his 18-year tenure as Gunners supremo, with defeat unthinkable for a group of players who for so long this season looked genuine title contenders.
Silverware would provide vindication that a talented squad are moving in the right direction and capable of delivering when it really matters most, but Gunners fans still bear the scars of a League Cup final defeat to Birmingham City in the same stadium in 2011 and will be desperate to avoid a repeat performance against the Tigers.