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Monday 15 September 2014

Wenger insists he is staying at Arsenal

Jim van Wijk

Published 03/05/2013 | 11:07

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ARSENE Wenger today again ruled out leaving Arsenal before the end of his contract - and hinted for the first time he would like to stay on past 2014.

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The Gunners boss, 63, still has another season left to run on his current deal, but has been linked with a summer switch to big-spending Paris St Germain.

 

Wenger, though, stressed his only focus was on securing Arsenal a top-four finish in the Barclays Premier League again and then planning to further strengthen the squad in the transfer window, with the best part of a £100million warchest at his disposal.

 

Speaking at this morning's media conference ahead of the trip to relegated QPR, Wenger said: "I answered that question already. I respect my contracts.

 

"I want to stay (on past 2014) if I do well and if I consider or the club considers that I do well, that is all.

 

"I want this club to do well, that is my basic feeling.

 

"We have gone through a period that was very sensitive, we are coming out of it now, in a much stronger position financially.

 

"I believe the club is in a very strong position for the future."

 

Wenger has transformed Arsenal since he arrived at Highbury in October 1996, making them the dominant force in the domestic game before overseeing the club's move to the 60,000-seater Emirates Stadium and consistently delivering Champions League football in the face of heavy spending from their rivals.

 

The French coach is in no doubt when he does eventually call it a day, Arsenal will be in good shape for the future.

 

"I believe a big club should be run where everybody does his job and I try to do my job. The only thing I can say is that I do it with a lot of commitment and a lot of loyalty. I try to do as well as a I can for this club," he said.

 

"I believe that this club is today in a very, very strong position and has gone through a very sensitive period in a very intelligent way. After that, everything is here to have a great future.

 

"We have a good fanbase, we have now a strong financial situation, we have good young players and a squad with a bright future with the quality of the young players we have. It is just to manage it well now."

 

Arsenal head to Loftus Road on the back of a seven-match unbeaten league run which has moved them into fourth place, one point behind Chelsea and two ahead of Tottenham, albeit having played a match more.

 

Chelsea, who last night qualified for the Europa League final, head to Manchester United on Sunday, before then hosting Spurs next week.

 

Wenger challenged his men to focus on delivering the required performance themselves, rather than worry about whether their rivals will drop points.

 

"The only thing we know is it can only be decisive if we win our games. That is compulsory," he said.

 

"We focus on winning our games and then look at the results of other teams.

 

"The most important in that is not to lift your head, just focus on our job and continue our strong run.

 

"We have put a strong run together and we want to use this belief in a very positive way."

 

While Arsenal may be targetting the Champions League, it will be the npower Championship for QPR next season.

 

Wenger, though, warned against underestimating the challenge posed by Harry Redknapp's squad.

 

"It can happen yes, that they play under less pressure, with less fear. It can be of course very dangerous," he said.

 

"I still believe that the match will be decided by the quality of our performance.

 

"If we continue to play like we do, we will make it and that's what we focus on."

 

Arsenal will again be without striker Olivier Giroud, who serves the second of a three-match ban.

 

Theo Walcott, who scored in last weekend's 1-1 draw against United at the Emirates Stadium, and Lukas Podolski are in contention to lead the attack at Loftus Road.

 

There had been reports German forward Podolski was set for summer surgery on an ankle problem.

 

However, Wenger said this morning: "No. That is not true. He should be okay."

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