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Sep 27, 2013

Arsene Wenger keen to ink new deal

17 years after his appointment, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says he is proud to have the backing of club owner Stan Kroenke, and hopes he can stay the club 'forever'.

Arsene Wenger is ready to sign a new contract at Arsenal after Gunners owner Stan Kroenke confirmed he wants the Frenchman to extend his stay as the club’s manager.

Arsene Wenger watches as Arsenal win 3-0 against Fenerbahce in a Champions League qualifier.
Arsene Wenger's contract expires next summer.

Cross: Trophy urgency
Kroenke wants Wenger deal

In interviews with the British press on Thursday, Kroenke hailed the job Wenger has done at the Emirates Stadium while calling on him to sign a new deal.

The Arsenal manager's current contract expires next summer, yet he has stressed there will be “no problem” in extending it, even though he insists it is not a priority at the moment.

“Honestly, I would love to be here forever because it would mean I am immortal,” Wenger said. “I am not naive enough to believe that, but as long as I am here I’ll do the best for this club as I love this club, of course.

“I am very honoured to have the support of Stan Kroenke and that he thinks I can help the club. That’s a huge confidence vote. Something for me that is very positive.”

Wenger went on to confirm he will sign new contract at the club “when he finds time to sort it out”, and stressed it would not take long for him to agree to a new deal.

“The good thing with me is I don’t need a lot of talk to extend the contract I have,” he said. “I don’t think that’s the most important thing at the moment. I said I want to focus on the quality of our season and no-one can question my commitment to this club. I want to do well and the question of me staying will be secondary for that.

“I turned many offers down because I rate what I have got here. I always thought this club was special and it is important to know what you want. I rated the qualities this club has shown.

“I am very grateful to this club because during my 17 years here we have had ups and downs, but they have always shown faith in me. They let me always do the job like I felt it was supposed to be done. I am here because of the consistent support inside this club.”

With Wenger set to mark his 17th year as Arsenal manager this weekend, the Frenchman has insisted he has never come close to walking away from the club, even though he is amazed to have remained in his post for so long.

“I didn’t think I’d be here so long, not at all,” he said. “Our job is to work like you will be here forever and know that it can end every day.

“I don’t know where the 17 years have gone, but I just look forward to the next game, you never look backwards. Of course when you look backwards, you see a lot of effort to achieve consistency, but what is most interesting is tomorrow’s game.

“Football is unpredictable and the next game is always discovery, a new adventure. You focus on that. All the rest is decoration. What is important is you feel you can do your job.

“Over the years, if you analyse the seasons, we were always close and consistently at the top. It is much more difficult to stay consistently at the top than people think.  It’s a very underrated quality. It shows we have put the effort it. We have a team now that can compete.”

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