Arsene Wenger ‘committed’ to staying at Arsenal and plays down links to PSG
Manager has begun contract talks with chief executive Ivan Gazidis
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, left, speaks to the media as the club’s chief executive, Ivan Gazidis, looks on during a press conference following their arrival at Halim Perdanakusumah airport in Jakarta, Indonesia. Photograph: Tatan Syuflana/AP
Arsene Wenger says he has begun new contract talks with Arsenal and is “committed to staying” at the club beyond next summer, when his current agreement is set to expire.
The Frenchman has been a target for Paris St-Germain, whose managerial appointment of Laurent Blanc on a two-year deal has failed to stop speculation they may move for Wenger at the end of next season, were he not to renew at Arsenal.
However, Wenger played down the link to PSG as he talked up his passion for Arsenal, his employer of 17 years.
“The link is because I’m French and I know the owners,” he said. “But if that was the case, then I would be there already.
“My heart is with Arsenal. I am committed to staying longer at this club. We had already a chat with Ivan [Gazidis, chief executive]. It went very well . . . not a problem.”
Gazidis has made it clear he sees Wenger as the man to oversee the club’s new-found spending power in the transfer market, as commercial deals come to fruition.
But Wenger said he would base the decision on whether to re-sign on performance.
He is under pressure to win a first trophy since 2005 and admitted this was “an important season for me”.
“I am like everybody else ... of course, it is important to see how well we do,” Wenger said from Indonesia, where Arsenal have embarked upon the first leg of their pre-season tour.
Wenger was tight-lipped over his pursuit of the marquee signing craved by the supporters.