Saturday, May 18, 2024

Wenger: Contract extension story is ‘absolutely false’

Arsene Wenger says reports that he has been offered a new contract are completely false.

The Times reported yesterday that Stan Kroenke is willing to give the Frenchman a new two-year contract on the proviso the 66-year-old pledges his future to the club before October.

Wenger, who joined the club nearly 20-years ago, is out of contract at the end of next season and says he’s completely committed to seeing out his current deal.

Speaking on Friday ahead of Arsenal’s final league game of the season against Aston Villa, the boss reacted angrily to the latest media rumour-mongering.

Here’s a transcript of the relevant responses, you can make your own mind up.


[Questions posed by Nick Collins, Sky Sports News] 

You’ve still got one year left on your contract, there are reports that you’re to be offered a two-year extension to that…

That’s completely wrong and I don’t know where this information comes from. You can treat that as just an invention. It’s absolutely false.


And I would like this press to check the information before they give it out because they could have checked with the club or with myself and we’d both have denied it.

Is that something you’d like though? A two-year extension…

No. I think about the next game you know. At my stage you want to do well. I’m committed with integrity and commitment, full commitment for the club, as long as I’m under contract. At the moment that’s all.


[Questions posed by James Olley, The Evening Standard]


I know you’ve knocked down the contract story, but will it make it harder to sign players if they don’t know whether you’re going to be here beyond next season?

I don’t think so. I hope not.

Have you decided what you will do, privately, beyond next season?


What will determine that?

What I focus [on] is to respect my contract and after [I’ll] envisage what I do after. I can understand that people are interested in that but that’s not the most important. I think I’ve extended my contract at a period when it was vital for the club and after that I will see where I am personally and where the club stands at the end of my contract.

So, to rephrase that slightly…what happens next season will determine whether you stay or not?

Of course, yeah. You sum it up very well.

Listen to today’s Arsecast Extra for further Wenger discussion, FIFA japes and much more


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Arsene-al fan

Too much news in the press that probably isn’t news ie will he or won’t he, will we buy x or won’t we (probably not for 99% of rumours) but is speculation and/or designed to get our backs up.

Avoid them and only look at sources you can trust!


last people to trust after the phone hack scandals – is not the times owned by the guy who had to close a newspaper down for breaking the law! and people still trust their shite.

and your right about speculating over speculation – never ending story.


In fairness to Wenger, he handled that precisely. He’s clearly here for one more season. I think it should be his final one and I think extending his contract could see the ructions in the fan base become a chasm. But he and we, need to look forward to this coming season. Perhaps his final push. In particular he needs to get his signings done quickly because every other Club will have a new Manager and there will be big changes all round this summer. We are clearly not going to signing Naimar or someone in that bracket. So we… Read more »


We need to win the pl next season for the club to justify giving him a new deal.


If we win the league next season…i might ‘just’ be inclined for wenger to continue..but that is surely a brdige we need to cross if we get there. At the moment I feel quite sure we will not win next season anyway 🙁

Bob's Mexican Cousin

Just? If we win the league?

This is what I don’t get about some of the WengerOut lot. You are suggesting you would consider letting a league winning manager go?

We are all talking hypotheticals right now, but it strikes me as an agenda to get rid of the man just for the sake of it, not for the club.


I’m sorry but that’s absurd. We have no divine right to be champions and in case you didn’t realise, it’s quite a competitive league. The club has to move forward, and that should be the benchmark.


No-one mentioned “divine right” except you. Are you saying we should aim to move forward from 3-4th position, but not necessarily aim for the title?

What kind of logic is that?


he’s saying we should require the team to perform better, to aim for the title, and put their hearts in it but we shouldn’t automatically expect the team to win the league.


Exactly that CJ. Seems perfectly logical to me?


I’ll repeat once again Danny – no-one brought up a “divine right” to win except you. Support Wenger as loyally as you see fit. But do it without putting words into the mouths of those you disagree with. Wenger has himself implied that we’d need to win something next season for him to continue. Have you stopped taking him seriously as a manager?

How about we support Wenger by holding him to his highest standards and maintaining that he can repeat them? “Moving forward” is not a tangible benchmark. Cups and titles are.


Well said I think.


Out of interest.. Would another FA Cup win and coming second in the league (but after spending money actually addressing weaknesses in the team this summer, winning 80+ points with exciting football, genuinely being involved in the title race and simply being beaten by a better team) be enough to change anyone’s minds on his contract? Personally think some clear progression would be enough to get me back on side, or at least back on side enough I wouldn’t be totally pissed off if he signed an extension.. Not holding my breath though.


I for one would happily support him continuing if we improved next season, and mounted a *sustained* title challenge. Just some indication of leaving Groundhog’s Day behind will be enough. We will never get another UberManager like Wenger who basically has a hand in nearly all aspects of the club’s operations – and also another so loyal.

Of course, all that is well and good, but as fans we want to see progress on the pitch. If that comes, I would welcome an extension.

Gooner Town

If we spend money this Summer, and reinforce the team in key areas that we all know have needed improvement for the last few seasons (Striker, DM, Centre half) then that will mean if we do fail, Arsene can hold his hands up and say, “I’ve given it a proper go this year and we have come up short”. I can live with that and I think most Arsenal fans would say the same. The frustration is the apparent ignorance of the same problems that have affected us the last 5-10 years. I want to see him concede, he’s all… Read more »


Yes, progress can be defined here as not repeating the same f-ing mistakes. Everyone knows what they are and it is dejavu every year…..


Yes. I think the reason why so many fans are frustrated is because we’re always “close, but not quite” even before the season starts. We can see the weaknesses in the squad, and when we implode later on due to said weaknesses, the whole thing feels inevitable and repetitive. If we were to actually have a 100% go at it, yet come up short because City (or whatever) play incredible football, get 92 points and score 108 goals, that’s fine (sort of). However, coming up short because.. we implode due to weaknesses that we were all aware of, that’s just… Read more »


I think you sum it well, we don’t EXPECT Arsenal to win the league, or win the CL, or to even win Cups.. We or any other team don’t the right to just win things because we’re a ‘big team’, even more so as the league is getting more competitive every year. What we do want to see however is progress of some sort, to be playing well, to be competing until the end, to have addressed all those same old weaknesses, to have some fight in us, to make the Emirates a fortress again. Hopefully we see that at… Read more »


The key is progression and ambition. You can’t guarantee titles, but as long as the club show real intent then most fans would probably get behind him again.


The time for wenger to show he could improve the club was three years ago

Two FA cups are very nice, but little progress in the league, and everything falling apart this season after inaction in the summer, same players out injured, same loyalty to said players, we just won’t improve this way. Everyone says sign new players, but nobody says who should be sold, and I am not sure Wenger would get more out of a team with some new players. It’s not the players…


He stays when we come 4th so, hey, we’re probably stuck with him and Walcottt to boot.


How arrogant can someone be!!!!! Can’t you get it Me Wenger? We, the fans, do not want you anymore.

the only sam is nelson

Wenger shows more humility in his little finger on a daily basis than that post, but don’t let the exploding irony meter distract you from representing the entire fan base in an entirely non arrogant fashion

Ljungbergs Mohawk

What was arrogant about his comments? He´s obviously just tired of the medias lies. Nothing arrogant towards the fans.

Arsene-al fan

The media’s lies that Wenger has been offered a new contract which he says is ‘completely wrong’?

Perhaps say that then.


As I recall the origin of this seems to be a tweet from Piers Morgan, quoting a source with inside knowledge. It occurs to me that if I were sat next to Piers, having to listen to another anti Wenger diatribe, I might be tempted to lean over and say…don’t tell anyone, but I’ve heard they’re offering him a new contract.


I think the only arrogance is when a supporter uses the word ‘we’ instead of ‘I’, they proclaim to speak for all of us.

Some agree that he must go, others say that he must stay. The bulk are somewhere in-between, with people torn between loyalty and relative failure, but balanced by uncertainty about who would take over.

Bob's Mexican Cousin

Van Gaal may be available next summer…


And Mourinho. Maybe they can be joint coaches. Wouldn’t that be entertaining.


@assistant ref :
Haha! Cheech & Chong?


No thanks.Rather have a younger,hungrier manager.Not has-beens

Arsene-al fan

In 10 to 15 years’ time most of us will look back and say he was the greatest ever Arsenal manager (in living memory at least). Invincibles, doubles, FA Cup win record, new stadium, selling our best players whilst still staying in the CL.

With that in mind let’s treat him well now.

And don’t presume to speak for all Arsenal fans, you don’t.


Chris Bascombe: “There will come a point in 10 years’ time when Arsene Wenger is invited back to the Emirates and the stadium will erupt in appreciation for the greatest manager in Arsenal’s history. Amid the eulogies will be laments. “Why did we ever let him go?” will be the observation from those craving a return to Champions League football.  “He didn’t win enough while he was here,” will be the counter-argument, while acknowledging none of his successors have got close to replicating what he achieved in north London. It is the prerogative of every football supporter to want more. Those who avoid… Read more »


I couldn’t agree more with this post.

For me, this is the first year in the last ten years where you could say the team fell short of its potential. Most of the teams since the new stadium have been have crap and its to Wenger’s credit that he was able to keep them in the Champions League.

Do people realize Arsenal once finished 4th and made it to the last 8 of the Champions League with Denilson as our most capped midfielder, Adeboyer as our lone striker, and Eboue playing most games at right winger?


Outstanding comment.


It’s like he’s taken the way I feel, and articulated it in a way that I can understand…

Rob Fuller

This is the best thing written by man since the instructions on how to slice bread were scrawled on a piece of rag an age ago. In other words – spot on sir!

A Gorilla

He is not arrogant enough that he presumes to speak for all Arsenal fans – like you’re some figurehead. Ridiculous child.


As much as I can appreciate your opinion Andreas, please don’t take it upon yourself to speak for all Asenal fans everywhere. I’m fairly sure it’s pretty evident that not all will agree with you.


You ain’t speaking on behalf of me, mate.

I will always be thankful for what he has done for the club over his twenty year reign.

Imagine what it might have been like without him – we could have ended up like Liverpool, Everton, Tottenham etc.

Think about that for a moment, before making ill-judged comments.


Freudian slip?


If that’s Wenger’s way of saying he’s going all out….let see what will happen.


It’s quite sad to see all the flak people give him, considering how much he has done for Arsenal. I am also apprehensive about the club going forward with the type of owner and board at the helm. I hope he at least stays on in some capacity to help rudder the ship, because the other people in charge seem clueless.


The ship already hit the rocks. Mayday! Mayday!


I’m even more worries for him next season.

Imagine if he buys everything everyone says he should, but yet the team still suffers from the same systematic behaviour (fatigue due to overuse, diminished creativity around Christmas in line with overuse of players, kamakhazee type defending due to being exposed due to over-attacking, etc.), what will anyone hold on to then?


Apparently they’ll hold on to fantasies about Wenger returning to the Emirates in 2027, riding a chariot while garlands are thrown at his feet.


I love it. Imagine barca fans inventing the same fantasy about Frank Rijkaard. They don’t, because they moved on and the world did not end.

Anonymous Kumquat

On the flip side, I wonder what will have to happen between now and the end of next season for fans to want him to stay on?


Win the league in swashbuckling style and get us into a Champions league final.

John 'John Radford' Radford

*points at flying pig*


It seems like the Times made up some shit to get people to read their newspaper.
Nothing new there. Just won’t believe them next time.


Why don’t you think it’s true?

Forever optimistic

He’s going to go out on a high next season, win us the league, take us further in the champions league (semis?), win one of the domestic cups and bow out like a true gent……maybe


I’ve just gotta say, after extensive YouTube reviews of this seasons highlights, that mahrez is actually a landslide best player in the prem this season, and giroud was actually pure quality. Yea I watched himstruggle for weeks on end but he scored loads of critical goals, beat neuer 3 times, and if he played for England he’d be your best player. Less hate plz


I get the feeling from Arsene’s recent press conferences that he doesn’t want to stay. It seems like he feels duty bound to see out his contract, but that after that he will walk away. And personally I think he can walk away with his head held high. He could have left after 10 years for a new adventure, but he chose to stick around and help see the club through a difficult transition period, whilst over achieving on the targets set by the club. He will leave the club in an unprecedented position of financial power with a bright… Read more »

Same old Oli

I honestly don’t want his reign as managager to end. As fans we absolutely take for granted the normality of having a constant manager. Change might not be a great thing. I think we are a couple of changes away from a world clasms team and i think a manager of his calibre is one of the few managers able to bring them to the club. Wenger loves the club, why dont we love it too?

John 'John Radford' Radford

as your name suggests…same old, same old, same old…..

Sport is about taking risks. Going the extra mile to try and win something. That’s what makes it exciting. When was the last time Arsenal excited you over a season?

We are stuck in a rut – shame you cannot see it.

Yankee Gooner

as your name suggests…perhaps it’s you who are stuck in a rut?

Gooner Town

We have been close to a world class team for a few seasons now but we simply haven’t progressed in that time. The necessary steps have not been taken and the team has suffered. It’s crunch time now for Wenger. I want to see him succeed so badly

John 'John Radford' Radford

Wenger is as boring as his team nowadays. Get him out now before another 4th place trophy parade.

Arsenal FC not Arsene FC.


Bless you my brother.

What they don’t understand is that We want our Arsenal back!

When I say this to Arsene-in-ers, they often ask me “which Arsenal do you want back?”, just so as to confuse me. These intellectuals are truly despicable.


We could think outside the box this summer and actually sign some players! Then maybe we will have a realistic shot at the title next year! I think we all knew once the transfer window closed last summer that we had made a bollocks of it and any title chances we had were severely dented, and unfortunately everyone was right and we collapsed like we always do. I’m not saying that going out and spending a lot of cash is the answer to our problems. But at least if we do spend money we can eliminate that as a factor… Read more »


I think he will leave at the end of next season regardless of what we end up achieving.

glory hunter

The worst part of Arsene’s reign for me in the last few years is that ive stopped watching us in the champs lge, cos i know we aint good enough to win it and as a fan its hurts me every single season that im proven right. Football aint rocket science, the team with the better players more often than not win. And if i can see that, how come a man as experienced and qualified as Arsene cant? Its mind boggling The fans asking for Arsene to leave are right and have been right all along, it pains me… Read more »

Oldjohn 14

Football aint rocket science? Yet you or nobody was able to predict Leicester title feat at first!

Dave U

So the astounding revelation is that whether a guy gets a new contract depends on how things go during the remainder of the current contract.
Er, d’oh!

Pretty much commonsensical truth for anyone and any contract.

Seems to me that sports reporters these days are less interested in reporting sports than they are in trying to create their own sport of trying to get people sacked.


I dont think it matters who we buy this transfer window, unless we change tactically we aren’t going to win the league.


We have resources of about £250m – realistically £100m are spoken for. So we can spend around £150m net this summer. That would get us Mahrez, Xhaka, Benzema and Manolas with plenty of change, even before we sell any of our players. So no bloody excuses.


Haha it’s that simple huh? Okay mate.

Sorry, but I think I’ll rely on more informed people regarding our resources.


As per Swiss Ramble. PS – I expect us to lose the league no matter how much we spend or whoever we bring in.


Benzema might be free after he ends up in jail! What a bargain!


Comment: Fans divided,that’s the only problem we have. There are those who are calling for Wenger’s head, there are those who want to see change in football matters ( attitude of the players,change of the manager to let in new blood which will motivate players), there are those who feel after all that arsene has done for the club he should continue regardless of whether he wins a silverware or nor and finally those who want change with the belief only the manager (Arsene) himself is able to do this. Everybody has point and as fans this is not the… Read more »


Patience! The season isn’t over yet. We’ve done some things right, some things wrong. We’ve stayed in place in some ways, regressed in others, and progressed on yet others.

Silly season isn’t officially on us and we’re acting like idiots. Wenger has done so much right for so long, he deserves to have the season reviewed after it’s finished.


Where have we progressed? League position and points, despite the absence of the traditional opposition, CL exit, domestic cup exits, number of injuries, tactics, player morale? – not in any of those areas, that’s for sure. The only slight improvement has been in our academy with the under-18 finishing 6th rather than bottom and the under-21s finally getting promotion. This wasn’t thanks to Wenger, however, quite the contrary. It was Gazidis who brought in Jonker to address the long-standing rot which Wenger had neglected for years. Shad, another of Gazidis’s interventions, hasn’t been quite so successful as yet, which suggests… Read more »

Yankee Gooner

These kinds of comments–“despite the absence of the traditional opposition”–do my head in because they assume that falling out of the top four is the anomaly instead of always staying in it being the exception. In a season when Chelsea and Man U (and Liverpool) have all fallen on significantly hard times, what right does the fan of any club have to expect that the club they support *won’t also* have hard times? But Arsenal has a chance to finish second in the league. Is that as good as winning it? No, emphatically no. Is it still an impressive achievement,… Read more »


The peer clubs are taking action and have replaced or will replace their managers. Given how strong the league is getting it’s likely there’ll be a topsy-turvy period where clubs drop in and out of the top 4 the next few seasons. If Mourinho goes to United and De Boer to a newly wealthy Everton, those two along with Chelsea and Liverpool could feasibly make up the top four next season. The injection of tv money into the game has cushioned the blow of missing out on CL, and dropping out can be used by clubs as a catalyst for… Read more »


As far as I’m aware, the so called ‘silly season’ of football transfer speculation & gossip
has been an all-year-round activity for many seasons now, and ceased being something
only done in the Summer months a long time ago.

Seriously Joel, get out

Frank De Boer needs a gig, DB10 can boat it over and be his sidekick. Steve Bould can stare unflinchingly at the opposing manager all game, make it happen jeebus.


I think he is being completely honest. He doesn’t decided on his future. He can’t sign an extension based on this season and he can’t say he’s stepping down either. Anyway, I hope he stays. I would have liked the Times story to be correct.

Stewart Robson's therapist

I hate the stirrers in the media. Quite clearly made this contract story up themselves just so they could ask him about it today. What a bunch of toerags.


I don’t think it’s made up at all. I think it’s almost certainly true. What was Wenger going to say. He can’t say he’s staying publically because so many fans are pissed. He can’t say he has an agreement he isn’t signing because that would impede buying players. He had no choice but to dismiss it. But I be the has a contract and Stan wants it signed.

Stewart Robson's therapist

You would rather believe a journalist in the British press than your own club’s manager? Blimey, you really do want to believe the worst of him, don’t you?


Goodness, yes. A Wenger press conference is the last thing I’d believe! Look, put aside your loyalty to Wenger and your hostility to fans who feel otherwise for just five minutes so as to think about what’s going on. Even the worst of the gutter press – and The Times isn’t that – don’t usually invent stuff out of nothing; what they do is take a fact, or what they lazily believe to be a fact (such as the lies the Yorkshire police fed to the Sun after Hillsborough) and distort it, exaggerating the more salacious bits and omitting anything… Read more »


We have gone backwards in terms of points and goals. The last game against an already relegated and pitiful side is not an indicator of success or failure to me. We are a massive club and as rich as croseus. We have underperformed in Europe for 9 straight years. We have the same frailties as we have had for many, many years despite changing personel. We are I suspect – quite unessessarily – going to be in rebuild mode this year. I don’t think what anyone ‘deserves’ comes into it. It’s a massive dissapointment andI can’t see the ray of… Read more »

Andy Mack

Actually for most of the first 5 or 6 years out of the 9 years you mention, we’ve over achieved by getting into he CL and not always dropping out in the group stage. We’ve had many years since the new stadium where our squad (especially with injuries) shouldn’t have been anywhere near the top 4.
But you’re right that we’ve under achieved since then although some of the opponents could be the reason (barca or Bayern).


In 20 years, everyone – fans, journalists and pundits – will be speaking about Wenger and using terms such as ‘genius’ and ‘visionary’. We’ll never have another manager who is as committed and passionate about Arsenal. He’s one of us and I find it genuinely sad that he gets ridiculed and humiliated not just by some jumped up journalists, but by ex pros and now some fans. You go to any country in Europe and speak to football fans there- whenever I tell them I support Arsenal, they literally gush when they speak about him. The press in Europe revere… Read more »

SoCal Gooner

The mediocrity of the mindset of Arsenal fans is mind-boggling….


I would expect Arsene to leave after next season. He has done great for the club. He has plateaued and cannot take the team any further. It will be great if he seriously goes for it next season. That will leave the next manager with a strong foundation. C’MON gaffer. Do it for the fans


Unfortunately the once legendary Brian Clough end his time at Nottingham Forest with the team getting relegated, I kinda get the impression Wenger will end his time at Arsenal on a relative downer!!! Shame really because, like Clough, he did amazing things with the club!!!


The only thing I want to see is Wenger walking out with a EPL and Champions league win. He has done a lot for the club and he deserves it.

L Mo

You can hate on the man all you want (and I frequently do), but there are very few managers as adept at handling incendiary lines of questioning in as personable a manner as Wenger. You don’t need to look back very far to see how other managers would have reacted to these kinds of questions. As a manager, his time is nearly up I think, but he clearly has a future as an ambassador in the game, and he would be a welcome one too.




” “So, to rephrase that slightly…what happens next season will determine whether you stay or not?”
“Of course, yeah. You sum it up very well.” ”

So poignant.

The end of an era is approaching.

No matter what anyone says about Wenger’s performance, there are few managers as classy as him.


I’m relived that the contract extension story is a big fat lie! The key point Wenger made is that he stayed when the club couldn’t afford to let him go, though that would have been easy option that many other managers would have taken. Lack of funds and the content irritation that’s the media and the FA. They would have loved him at Madrid. I’m highly discontent with many things about Wenger particularly his transfer dealings. For someone so wise, I can’t understand stand how he is so blind to the deficiencies in the squad. However, I have not lost… Read more »


Why do you assume it is a lie?!


Based on the title of this article.

I did cover the scenario where it’s privately true. The board giving a contract extension will be a commercial decision rather than a footballing decision at this point. Commercially, we are a club who is always are a top four and Champions league club. That kind of consistency is not usual. However from a sporting perspective, we have not won the league in 12 years. Also, every club who had ambitions at the start of the season will view this season as a failure from that perspective.


No club in this league can guarantee that they will win the league next season.

I just want us to stay in the league race until May and move past last-16 in Champions League for once.

Andy Mack

We have got past the last 16 in the CL a few times, but I agree that it’s nowhere near often enough.
Having said that, we’ve been a bit unlucky with the umber of times we’ve got Bayern or Barca in that draw. Would it have been better to have been beaten by them in the last 4 instead?

Arteta Fan

Interesting Daily Mail read on how much money we really have to spend…quite possibly not near as much as thought by those who choose to believe what they are spoon fed and wish to believe…the mob. Wenger is so much more than team manager, he is possibly the best business person in history to hold that title. The combination of his business acumen, commitment to youth, playing style and personal honesty and integrity including historical commitment to Arsenal make him the reason I love this team. Many may reject that attitude as I do not share your historical roots to… Read more »


Quite dissapointed with some of my fellow gooners in their treatment of Wenger. I know I’m fast moving into the minority here, but I would love for the boss to sign a new deal to keep him with the Arsenal until 2019. Can see us winning the PL and CL before he retires and making us all really super happy gooners. Will need the supporters to do their bit though, I propose a nutter on a speakerphone rallying the fans (like Dortmund/Atletico have) to wake up the boring fucks amonsgt the Emirates ticket holders. I hereby volunteer for this role.… Read more »


With the way the current state of affairs are, of course he is going to have that kind of response.

….it’s just he’s given the press ammo now. They know what subjects to fabricate in the papers. Going to be a long 2016/2017.


James Olley is a smug, self-satisfied Chelsea supporting twat.

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