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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Sep 7, 2007

Wenger signs new three-year Gunners deal

Arsene Wenger has vowed to turn Arsenal's potential into silverware after agreeing a new three-year deal to remain in charge at Emirates Stadium.

The announcement Wenger is to extend his stay at the club he has transformed over the past decade brings an element of certainty following a difficult few months in the wake of former vice-chairman David Dein's controversial departure and the summer sale of star man Thierry Henry.

The terms of the new deal - which will keep Wenger at the Emirates Stadium until 2011 - have not been made public.

But it is understood to be worth around £4million a season to the Frenchman, making him one of the highest paid bosses in the Premier League.

However, for Wenger, the issues have never been about money - either for himself or team building.

'I have been entrusted with complete freedom to implement and execute my plans on what will make the team successful,' said Wenger, who has secured three Premier League titles and four FA Cup triumphs as well as reaching the final of the Champions League in 2006.

'That means I have a responsibility to the fans to deliver silverware and also a responsibility to the players to help turn our potential into prizes.

'I want to achieve the maximum with this team and it is young and very ambitious as well, and I feel I share that ambition with my team.

'That is one of the reasons, as well, that I wanted to get a taste of how hungry this team is first before I definitely go for it.'

The French coach, 57, continued: 'I love the job I have at Arsenal - I love to win and I feel I can win with Arsenal. They are the main reasons [I signed].

'My heart is tied to this football club, so signing a new deal was always my intention. Arsenal is the club of my life.

'I feel I share the ambition with everybody to make Arsenal the best club in the world and that everybody works to be successful in that.'

Wenger added in an interview with Arsenal TV Online: 'I feel the first season was difficult at the Emirates - but from January onwards we felt really at home, and now you can see that there is no adaptation problem anymore.

'I feel that really we can push this club even higher now.'

There is a growing feeling that could happen sooner rather than later.

The Gunners, lead by man-of-the-moment Cesc Fabregas, have impressed during the first few weeks of the new campaign - comfortably beating Sparta Prague to qualify for the lucrative group stages of the Champions League and are currently second in the Barclays Premier League table, unbeaten in four matches.

Wenger has faith in what his latest crop of talented players can achieve, and believes they can eclipse those of the past 11 seasons.

'Yes, they have the ability,' declared the Arsenal boss. 'Don't forget this squad has been in the Champions League final without losing a game.

'The first signs this season are that the team has really matured.

'There is a completely different attitude towards the competition. They are more responsible, more disciplined and that can bring success.'

However, the prospect of Wenger now being handed a massive kitty when the transfer window re-opens with which to further strengthen his squad remains unlikely.

The Frenchman clearly has funds available following a summer surplus from players sold. However, Wenger has long championed the alternative way of earning success through developing a side rather than simply going out and buying the best talent around.

It remains to be seen, of course, just what will develop in the battle for power in the Emirates Stadium boardroom.

Dein, a close personal friend of Wenger, has recently linked up with Alisher Usmanov at the head of `Red and White Holdings' while American billionaire Stan Kroenke is also understood to be keen on furthering his investment.

Yet with the first wave of cash from the £500million Highbury Project set to come back into the club at the end next year, securing the services of Wenger once again may just prove to be Arsenal's most crucial signing.