Wenger contract hinges on KO stage progression in Champions League

Gunners manager has just one season remaining on his £7.5m a year deal.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is reluctant to discuss any contract negotiations until the club are assured of a place in the final 16 of the Champions League.

An excellent beginning to the season, which sees the North Londoners top of both the Premier League and their Champions League group, has led the club's stock to rise emphatically, and they are now considered realistic title challengers.

Most importantly, this impressive form, and the temperamental form shown by some of their rivals in the Premier League has given their players the comfort and space to perform consistently and without unnecessary pressure.

But, as it stands, the Frenchman's deal will expire at the end of the season. And previously he had talked merely of honouring his contract, whenever talk of leaving the club or a new deal arose.

Heading into a difficult run of games, continuing with tomorrow's visit to Borussia Dortmund, Wenger is eager to keep his contract negotiations from becoming a distraction to what he may privately feel is the club's best chance of silverware for some years.

After the Dortmund game, Arsenal have a home match with Marseille before heading to Napoli in what may be a winner takes all match. If they make it through such a group, the Frenchman and his team will only receive further acclaim, and the club directors will be much more confident of tying their manager to a longer deal. The intensive run of games that comes with the Champions League group stage will have finished, allowing for the contract issue to be addressed by owner Stan Kroenke and chief executive Ivan Gazidis.

The Daily Mail reports that both Wenger and the board remain calm regarding the situation, with many confident that the 64-year-old is as committed as ever to continuing his seventeen year spell in charge of the Gunners.

image: © wonker

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