The 64-year-old Frenchman is currently the longest-serving manager in the Premier League, arriving in North London in 1996, overseeing the building of a new stadium and guiding the club to 17 successive years in the Champions League as well as two domestic doubles with the Gunners.
However, the boss has yet to confirm whether he will stay beyond his current contract which expires in June this year but yet he was quite content to discuss his plans for pre-season.
The club announced on Thursday they will play MLS club New York Red Bulls at the Red Bull Arena on July 26, no less than 26 days after Wenger’s current contract expires with no official word yet on an extension to stay on at the Emirates.
The club’s official website posted: “Arsène Wenger’s side will take on the MLS club at the Red Bull Arena in New Jersey, on Saturday, July 26, kick-off 5pm (local time).”
Meanwhile, the manager himself discussed his team’s trip to the USA where the club’s all time top goal scorer Thierry Henry is currently captain.
“This will be a great chance to play in front of supporters who have not seen the team play before. The New York Red Bulls will be midway through their season, so they will provide a good test. Obviously it will be good to play against Thierry. He is a very special player in our club’s history and I know the players and the supporters will enjoy this very much.”
He chose his words carefully – he did not say ‘I’m looking forward to the trip’ or ‘they will provide a strong test for us’ but club chief executive Ivan Gazidis was less diplomatic with his choice of words.
“We are delighted to be visiting the United States for the first time in 25 years. We enjoy fantastic support there, and in particular in New York, so we are looking forward to providing our fans with an opportunity to watch the team play live. The fact that Thierry is the New York Red Bulls club captain makes this a particularly special fixture, and everyone involved with the club is looking forward to it.”
I think it could be safe to assume that includes the current and future manager Arsene Wenger. Perhaps someone could check the plane tickets.