Arsene Wenger has confirmed that he expects to honour his contract at Arsenal, which expires after the end of next season. The Frenchman signed a two year deal after the end of the 2016/17 season, which would see him stay at the club until 2019 at the very least.
The manager has become a divisive figure among Arsenal fans in recent years, with a raft of supporters believing it is time he left and that a change in management would benefit the club in getting out of the stupor. The Gunners have missed out on the top four for the first time in Wenger's reign at the club last season, with people going up on arms that the man has run his course.
"Will I be here? My contract clarifies that," Wenger said, as quoted by the Guardian. "Did I ever walk away? Never. Why should I change?" Wenger said, as quoted by the Guardian when asked about his contract situation.
The Gunners are trying to get into the top four this campaign, beating two of Liverpool, Manchester United, Tottenham and Chelsea with Manchester City having all but run away with the title. They are currently sixth, five behind the Reds in fourth and face a difficult January period where they try to keep hold of their stars and challenge for Europe.
They are still alive in the Carabao Cup where they have progressed to the semi-finals and came out in the away leg against Chelsea in a hardly fought 0-0 draw. The north London club will be looking to use the home advantage to their favour when they meet at the Emirates next time around and finish the season with another trophy, having been knocked out of the FA Cup to Nottingham Forest.
They are also into the round of 32 in the Europa League and that would provide a good route for the Gunners to make it to the Champions League like United did last season. Jose Mourinho's men won the trophy which allowed them access to Europe's top tier event despite finishing sixth in the league.
Meanwhile, there are still doubts over the future of Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Jack Wilshere, who enter their final six months of their contract. Wenger revealed that Sanchez is unlikely to extend his contract but he is hopeful about the futures of Ozil and Wilshere, which would give the fans some hope before the end of the season.
"It looks like Sánchez will not extend his contract," Wenger said. "But we want to keep Jack and, if we have an opportunity maybe to keep Özil, the rebuild will be less deep than if all three left. We are still talking to Özil and there is still an opportunity for him to stay. I am more optimistic than I was last summer.
"These guys want to win trophies and they want to make money as well. They want a combination of the two, that big clubs can give them. Incidentally Özil has won trophies with us. So he wants to fight as well for the Premier League – that's normal, when you are at that level."