According to The Times, Arsene Wenger has told his coaching staff that the only way his Arsenal tenure will end before the end of the season is if he’s sacked.
Despite his side’s awful domestic campaign and the fact his side have lost five of their last six matches, the Frenchman still believes he’s the man to turn things around at the Emirates and wants to see out his current deal, ending in June 2019.
Pressure is mounting on the Gunners board to either relieve the 68-year-old of his duties immediately or at the very least announce a summer changing of the guard that would afford the boss a dignified exit after 21-years at the helm.
It appears that a plan to facilitate a succession has been hatched by Ivan Gazidis with the likes of Raul Sanllehi and Sven Mislintat joining as head of football operations and scouting respectively.
From the outside, the introduction of new faces seems to have complicated matters at London Colney with Wenger somewhat frosty to developing new relationships having held complete control of all football matters for so long.
Wenger currently maintains the support of majority shareholder Stan Kroenke but that the balance of that relationship could shift depending on feedback from son Josh, who has been getting to know the club first hand in the last couple of weeks.
While it’s not something the Times reports, it’s rumoured that Kroenke Jr could take over as chairman from Sir Chips Keswick at the end of the current campaign.
Interestingly, the author of this morning’s piece, Matt Hughes, does mention that Ivan Gazidis missed Sunday’s trip to Brighton because he was on business. A tactical leak perhaps given his absence struck a bum note with supporters fed up with the board’s unwillingness to put their collective heads above the parapet.