LONDON -- Arsene Wenger has dismissed suggestions he is on Barcelona’s shortlist as a potential new manager, and stated he is only committed to Arsenal -- despite the lack of developments on his contract situation.
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Sources at Arsenal have suggested to ESPN FC that the occasion of Wenger’s 1,000th game at the club -- March 22 against Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea -- will be used to finally announce a new contract, but the delay has led to speculation in Spain that Barcelona are considering the French coach in the event of sacking Gerardo Martino.
Wenger, whose current deal expires in the summer, has however scotched such rumours, saying at a news conference on Friday: "No, my commitment is always fully here and nowhere else."
The Gunners boss, meanwhile, said he could never have imagined staying at Arsenal as long as he had, having taken over at the club in 1996.
He said: "No, not at all, I never would envisage that. We are in a job like you go for the next game, and try to do well in that next game. Then step by step, sometimes you get to 1,000."
Wenger, whose side reached the semifinals of the FA Cup last weekend, is preparing his players for Sunday's North London derby against Tottenham on Sunday.
The Frenchman has not lifted a trophy with the club since 2005, when they beat Manchester United on penalties in the FA Cup final.