Arsenal chairman Chips Keswick has issued a statement that will fuel the suspicion that the club’s manager Arsene Wenger will step down from his role at the end of the season.
Wenger’s current contract expires this summer and after a 10-2 aggregate defeat against Bayern Munich in the Champions League last-16, pressure on the Frenchman to bring down the curtain on his 20-year reign at Arsenal has never been more intense.
Wenger refused to elaborate on his plans in his press conference on Thursday morning, but an unusual statement has now appeared on the Arsenal website that suggests the club are preparing for a major announcement when this season concludes.
Arsenal generally refuse to comment on speculation in the media, but Keswick's suggesting that 'decisions will be made by us mutually' is the first hint that the club's hierarchy are in discussions over Wenger's future.
Wenger will look to ease some of the animosity around him by winning Saturday's FA Cup quarter-final against non-league side Lincoln, but it seems increasingly likely that we are witnessing the end of his reign at Arsenal.
"We are fully aware of the attention currently focused on the club and understand the debate," he said in a statement released on the club's official website.
"We respect that fans are entitled to their different individual opinions but we will always run this great football club with its best long-term interests at heart.
"Arsene has a contract until the end of the season. Any decisions will be made by us mutually and communicated at the right time in the right way."
Roy Keane has launched a stinging attack on the attitude of the Arsenal players after their lamentable 10-2 aggregate defeat against Bayern Munich in the Champions League, as he described the latest performance served up by of Arsene Wenger’s side as ‘shameful’.