Is Arsene Wenger’s managerial retirement on the horizon?

Arsene Wenger

The Arsenal manager's reign may be drawing to a close following his reported contract extension and the rumors circulating about the deal.

According to the Mirror, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will sign a new two-year extension to his current contract before making the move upstairs – similar to Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.

Wenger has cited the departure of David Dein, a close ally of the Frenchman, and the gap that departure has left, as the reason behind his reported decision.

Dein is the man credited with bringing Wenger to North London, and the two formed a successful partnership until problems at boardroom level forced the negotiator to leave in 2007.

Wenger - who turns 65 in October - joined the Gunners in 1996 and has since gone on to win the Premier League title three times and the FA Cup four times, while his side currently tops the Premier League table.

The only major trophy to elude the iconic manager is the Champions League, with Arsenal's 2-1 defeat to Barcelona in the 2006 final the closest he has come.

During Wenger’s reign, the Gunners have changed their style of play from a defensive mould to arguably one of the most attractive sides in world football, a quick, fluid-passing style that had rarely been seen on the British shores previously.

Arsenal moved from their iconic Highbury Stadium to the Emirates, which helped expand the club’s revenue as a business, and the North London side introduced a scouting network which helped the club bring in a whole host of young, exciting, creative and intelligent footballers to the club.

Should Wenger step down after the reported two-year extension, he will have been at the club for an impressive 19 years. Wenger also has the highest win-percentage of any Arsenal manager in history.

The Premier League has brought the best and the worst out of Wenger at times. Nevertheless, should he decide to move upstairs and take on more of a talent-spotting role for Arsenal, his touchline antics and amusing ‘I did not see it’ post-match comments will be missed by everyone associated with Premier League football – including North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

 

image: © Matt and Kim Rudge

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