A report in The Sun contradicts claims that Arsenal will let Arsene Wenger leave the club when he desires.
According to the tabloid, Arsenal have given Wenger an ultimatum: spend big in the summer, or miss out on a new contract.
Just last week the Daily Mail claimed that the Frenchman has been given the right to plan his own exit after 20 years of service.
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But The Sun believe that not to be the case. They suggest Arsenal chiefs want Wenger to bring in an array of expensive signings in the summer in order to compete for the Premier League title next season.
The 66-year-old’s contract expires at the end of the 2016-17 campaign and more and more fans are calling for Wenger’s departure following their recent run of results.
The Gunners’ last remaining shot at silverware is via the Premier League, where they trail Leicester by 11 points.
Their FA Cup and Champions League hopes were dashed in the space of a week earlier in the month, while back-to-back defeats to Manchester United and Swansea left them adrift of the Foxes in the title race.
Money in the bank
The club revealed cash reserves of £135 million last month and, given their misfortunes this season, it will be a huge surprise if Wenger doesn’t try to add two or three big names in the transfer window.
According to The Sun, Arsenal’s hierarchy - led by majority shareholder Stan Kroenke - want the manager to target Toni Kroos, Gonzalo Higuain, Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and John Stones.
Wenger has never been too extravagant with his spending, especially compared with his rivals, but his hand could be forced in the summer.
Not only are fans desperate to see their club end their 12-year trophy drought, but he can expect Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea to all come back stronger next term.
The arrival of Pep Guardiola will boost City’s title hopes, while Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte have been heavily linked with United and Chelsea respectively.
All three clubs will splash the cash in the summer, regardless of who’s in charge.
Arsenal fans have unfurled banners calling for Wenger’s departure in recent games against Hull and Everton, and a report in Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport will likely ruffle his feathers further.
The paper claims Inter Milan boss Roberto Mancini is being lined up to replace Wenger.
The former Manchester City manager recently admitted he “missed” English football, and with Inter currently fifth in Serie A, his future could lie elsewhere.
Wenger has enjoyed a magnificent run at Arsenal but it would appear the end is in sight.