Arsenal CEO drops hint club are planning for Arsene Wenger's departure

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As Arsene Wenger celebrates his 20th year at Arsenal, it's looking more and more likely that it could be his last.

After three Premier League titles and six FA Cups, speculation is rife that Le Professeur is ready to hang up his overcoat at the end of this season, whether that is to take the England job or to retire altogether.

That won't come as too much of a disappointment to many Gunners fans, who have been pleading with the club to part with him for most of the 12 years they've gone without a title.


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And chief executive Ivan Gazidis has now dropped rather a big hint that Arsenal are gearing up for Wenger's departure.

“Arsenal is not Arsene Wenger. They're not one in the same thing," Gazidis is quoted as saying by the Mirror.

"He's been clear and we've always been clear, that's a mutual decision as to how long he'll continue."

"Both need to be on the same page on that. In a football sense, he has transformed the club,” he added.

Whoever makes the famous 'Wenger out' banners will be disappointed to learn they won't have sealed his fate, at least not judging by Gazidis' comments.

However, if Wenger thought Arsenal was a tough job, he's currently being linked with the poisoned chalice that is the England role and is thought to be on a shortlist of around four names.

Arsenal planning ahead 

Should Arsenal fail to lift any silverware this season, that could all but force Wenger to quit, but their season is ticking along pretty nicely so far.

Having lost just one game in their opening seven, an opening day 4-3 defeat to Liverpool, the Gunners sit third, just two points behind pace-setters Manchester City.

Regardless of whether he takes the England job, Arsenal are right to be planning for Wenger's exit given his age and his own uncertainties over his future.

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe is among the favourites to take over at the helm when he does go, but one thing's for sure - Arsenal are unlikely to find another manager quite like Wenger, and while the club may be bigger than the Frenchman, they've got a lot to thank him for.

Is it time for Arsene Wenger to go? Would he make a good England manager? Have your say in the comments. 

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