Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is confident Pat Rice will continue as his number two next season, but maintains he is also on the lookout for a new voice in the backroom staff at Emirates Stadium.
Rice, 62, will see his current deal expire in the summer, and has yet to confirm future plans. Wenger, though, revealed the former Northern Ireland international - who played more than 500 games for the Gunners and had a spell as caretaker manager in 1996 before the Frenchman's arrival - had suggested he was ready to stay on.
"I think Pat Rice will continue for one more year. He has told me,'' Wenger said. "It is important for me because he knows how I work. We have a good understanding. I am happy that he goes on for one more year.
"The day he stops will be a massive loss for the club. We will see, after one more year maybe he will say one more year again. We will have to prepare.''
Academy coach Steve Bould and Arsenal legend Dennis Bergkamp, currently working for Ajax, have been touted as possible new additions to Wenger's backroom team, along with former Colchester, Hull and Charlton manager Phil Parkinson, who has been doing some scouting for the club. Wenger admits a new voice in the dugout would not go amiss.
He said: "Yes, we always need that and I am thinking about it as well.''