Arsene Wenger looks set to make several changes to Arsenal's playing squad this summer after confirmation that he has signed a new contract, although it remains to be seen what - if any - structural changes will occur that might effect how the club goes about its transfer business.
After months of uncertainty and speculation regarding the future of English football's longest-serving manager, it was finally announced by the club on Wednesday (31 May) that Wenger had agreed a two-year extension that will see his reign potentially extended to 23 years. Majority owner Stan Kroenke claimed that the Frenchman had his "full backing", while chief executive Ivan Gazidis insisting that there was "no complacency" at the Emirates Stadium.
The vocal proportion of supporters that had campaigned for Wenger's exit might have expected at least to see such an announcement quickly accompanied by reassurances regarding imminent behind-the-scenes alterations geared to help Arsenal share the decision-making process more evenly.
That has yet to happen, however, with the official statement only revealing that Wenger and Gazidis had "conducted a full review of our on and off the pitch activities to identify areas for improvement to build a sustained title challenge".
Speaking on possible personnel changes for the transfer window ahead, Wenger hinted at quality over quantity in terms of incomings and strongly suggested that the Gunners would sanction the exits of several players in order to trim what he evidently regards as a bloated first-team squad. Reports from the Evening Standard suggest that Kroenke is willing to support the long-serving 67-year-old with a £100m ($128.7m) transfer kitty amid links to the likes of prolific Lyon forward Alexandre Lacazette and Monaco pair Kylian Mbappe and Thomas Lemar.
"First of all, we have a very heavy squad at the moment so maybe we might lose some players," Wenger, who did not specify which particular areas he is looking to strengthen, said in an interview with Arsenal Player. "We want to keep the strength we have and build on that. We will work very hard to find the additions of top, top quality. I believe that our squad is very strong and we will only look for top-class people who can strengthen our team now. The basis is there so we need the additions who will make a real difference."
Questioned regarding possible changes to the non-playing side of things, Wenger added: "On that front, we always want to be better. We live in a very competitive world where everybody tries to get better. We look to be stronger everywhere. We want to perform better in every department, so of course we want to have the best team around the team.
"We look at everything. We forget that we have top-quality people already and, if you look closely at the players who left us, every player who came here became a better player. We have a very good record with the team and the improvement of the players here. We have to continue that but we are also looking everywhere to become even better."
Gazidis was said to be keen on appointing a director of football/sporting director, with the likes of Borussia Dortmund's Michael Zorc and former Arsenal winger Marc Overmars, currently performing the same job at Ajax, linked with the club. Wenger has been openly dismissive of the title, although The Telegraph report that his decision to stay was partially due to reassurances that those proposed wider structural changes would not impact upon his role in key areas such as directing transfer strategy.