Arsene Wenger to be offered new contract as Arsenal bid to fend off FA interest in England manager future

29 Sep

Arsenal are ready to bring forward contract negotiations with Arsene Wenger in a bid to convince the manager to remain at the club beyond the end of the season and not depart in order to replace Sam Allardyce as England manager.

Wenger admitted he was “flattered” to be linked with the job once again after he was asked about the prospect of replacing Allardyce following Arsenal’s 2-0 Champions League victory over Basel, where Theo Walcott continued his rich vein of form by scoring both goals in the first-half.

With the Football Association again on the look-out for a new manager after Allardyce resigned following the undercover sting by The Telegraph that captured him negotiating lucrative speaking opportunities in the Far East and advising reporters purporting to be investors how to get around FA third-party ownership regulations, Wenger’s name has quickly emerged among the candidates.

It’s expected that the FA will contact both Arsenal and Wenger over the possibility of taking up the role at the end of the season, when Wenger’s current contract expires with the Gunners, and it would mean that Gareth Southgate would have to stand in for the next four matches in England’s 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign. The England Under-21 manager has already been confirmed to be taking charge of the national side for next month’s matches with Malta and Slovenia.

But while Wenger has seemingly left the door open to joining the England set-up, there is a belief that the Frenchman may be teasing a switch in order to secure himself a new deal at the Emirates. Wenger celebrates his 20th anniversary since joining Arsenal on Friday, although he has shown no signs of wanting to leave and looks to be enjoying himself this season with Arsenal making a strong start to the campaign on all fronts.

According to The Mirror, Arsenal are determined not to let Wenger go and are ready to offer him a new two-year deal, with his current wages of £8m-a-year likely to be retained. The club were not expected to open formal talks with Wenger until much later in the year, but Allardyce’s hasty exit and the FA’s subsequent interest in landing one of their long-term targets is likely to force the north London club into making their move much earlier than expected.

The interest from the FA is also likely to give Wenger more bargaining power, and he has insisted in the past that he is willing to continue as Arsenal manager as long as he can still bring success to the club.


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