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Staying Put: Wenger will Manage Arsenal Next Season

LONDON. — Arsene Wenger said there has been no change to his plan to decide his Arsenal future in March or April but that he will still be ...

LONDON. — Arsene Wenger said there has been no change to his plan to decide his Arsenal future in March or April but that he will still be a manager next season, “whether it is here or somewhere else.”

Wenger says he will not retire this summer, even if it means managing a club other than Arsenal. The Frenchman, whose contract expires in the summer, has come under heavy pressure after his side suffered a 5-1 first-leg defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League this week.

Arsenal remain in contention for the FA Cup, with non-league Sutton United to play in the fifth round on Monday, but a failure to win the league since 2004 remains a regular source of frustration, with his side currently fourth, 10 points behind leaders Chelsea.
Arsene Wenger 

Wenger had told ZDF in Germany before the Bayern game that he would decide his future in March or April and he confirmed at yesterday’s news conference that that remained the case.

Wenger’s deal is up in the summer and the manner of Wednesday’s defeat at Bayern Munich left growing numbers of supporters and ex-players predicting his departure after a record 20 years and nine major trophies.

The Gunners boss’ weekly press conference, nominally to publicise Monday’s FA Cup trip to Sutton, was dominated by questions on his future and the Frenchman stuck to his customary line that nothing is yet decided.

But there was a flat denial when it was put to Wenger that his midweek body language suggested a manager on the verge of calling it a day for good. “At the moment we have other priorities and my future is not important, it’s Arsenal Football Club, the future of our team and what we can achieve until the end of the season that is important,” he said.

He added: “If I said March or April it is because I didn’t know (what the decision will be).” He dismissed the notion he was ready to retire. “No matter what happens I will manage next season, whether it is here or elsewhere,” he said. “That’s absolutely for sure.

“I hate to lose games and I want to do well for this club. You don’t stay somewhere for 20 years, walk out of a defeat like that and whistle. It’s difficult to take but I have the strength to respond.” Wenger did not deny telling German media this week he will make a decision in “March or April” but pressed on when exactly he said: “If I said ‘March or April’ it is because I didn’t know.”

And asked for the Arsenal board’s view on his position he said: “I don’t want to come back on that.”
He later added: “What is important is that the club makes the right decisions for the future. I did not work here for 20 years not to care about this club because I had many opportunities to go somewhere else.

“I care about the club and its future and it’s very important the club is always in safe hands, with me or someone else.” — ESPN.

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