Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted that fans will have an influence on his decision whether to stay at the club beyond this season.
Wenger is 2/7 not to be with the club at the start of next season, as he considers whether to accept an offer from the board to extend his current contract.
Fresh from a second 5-1 hammering from Bayern Munich – some Arsenal fans made their feelings known and protested after the match.
And Wenger admits that he would consider their opinion before deciding whether to sign or not and said: “It will not be the most important factor but you consider it, of course,” Wenger said of the fans’ reaction.
“I worked very hard for 20 years to make our fans happy and when you lose I understand they are not.
“How I will be judged in one way or the other is not my problem. I love this club, I am loyal to this club and I make the right decisions for this club and I will continue to do that.”
“I love this club, I am loyal to this club and I make the right decisions for this club and I will continue to do that.”
However, not long after Arsenal chairman Sir Chips Keswick issued a statement insisting that the board are looking after the best ‘long-term interests of the club, and they are hopeful he will stay.
Keswick said: “We are fully aware of the attention currently focused on the club and understand the debate.
“We respect that fans are entitled to their different individual opinions but we will always run this great football club with its best long-term interests at heart.
“Arsene has a contract until the end of the season. Any decisions will be made by us mutually and communicated at the right time in the right way.”
— Wenger Out Brigade (@YesArsenally) March 4, 2017
Our Football Insider Graeme Bailey confirmed earlier this month that board member, and son of majority shareholder Stan Kroenke, Josh Kroenke had earmarked Thierry Henry as the man to replace Wenger.
And Bailey believes that Keswick’s statement may worry some fans: “It was noticeable that the board were quick to come out and defend Wenger almost, yes the fans will influence the decision but he was clearly letting them know that they will be making the decision.
“As I have said all along, I cannot see Wenger staying but it will be a close call, he knows the board want him to stay and that will be a big pull for him, he is very loyal and they have already shown loyalty to him.”
Wenger remains a very short price to leave Arsenal with WilliamHill offering 2/7 that he will not be in charge of the club at the start of next season.
“Arsene Wenger has had a rough ride over the last couple of years and it finally looks as though his time is coming to an end,” said William Hill spokesman Joe Crilly.
Arsene Wenger to be Arsenal manager on 1st day of next season: 2/7 no; 5/2 yes