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Tuesday 26 September 2017

Arsene Wenger says he could stay in management for several more years

Arsene Wenger saw his Arsenal side thrashed 5-1 at Bayern Munich on Wednesday
Arsene Wenger saw his Arsenal side thrashed 5-1 at Bayern Munich on Wednesday

Arsene Wenger insists he could manage for at least four more years - even if he leaves Arsenal at the end of the season.

The Frenchman said on Friday he will make a decision over his future at the Emirates Stadium in March or April.

He also confirmed that, if he were to end his 20-year association with the Gunners, he would be looking to remain in management rather than retire.

While prolonging his stay at Arsenal potentially becomes less and less likely, particularly in the wake of Wednesday's 5-1 Champions League thrashing at Bayern Munich, the 67-year-old believes he still has plenty left in the tank.

When asked if he could follow in the footsteps of Sir Alex Ferguson, who retired after 26 years as Manchester United boss, Wenger replied: "Ferguson has some other interests in life and he was older than I am today. He was four years older, he retired at 71 and I'm 67."

When it was then put to Wenger if he could continue until he reaches Ferguson's own retirement age in four more years, he left the door open to remaining in the game beyond that time-frame.

"Maybe more, maybe less, I don't know," he said.

"Everybody is different on that front and I do not want to take anything away from Ferguson, he was an absolutely unbelievable manager but he had enough, he had enough, and I'm not at that stage."

Wenger also insisted his suggestion he could turn down a new deal with Arsenal and move elsewhere was not a threat to the club's board as speculation over his future continues.

"It is not a threat, not at all," he said.

"My preference is always to manage Arsenal and I have shown that. I am adult enough to analyse the situation."

Pushed further on his future, Wenger became more defensive: "I do not want to talk anymore about my personal situation," he said.

"What is important is the next game. We had a big disappointment, we lost, and we want to win the next game."

That next game is an FA Cup tie against non-league Sutton at their Gander Green Lane stadium in south London.

But, despite their hammering in Munich and sitting 10 points adrift of leaders Chelsea in the Premier League, Wenger believes those trophies - as well as the FA Cup - remain on offer this season.

"(It is) not the only one," he said of winning the FA Cup to finish the season on a high.

"We have to finish as high as we can now, the championship is not over and we have to fight for the championship as well."

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