Arsene Wenger set to sign new deal at Arsenal

The Frenchman has been at the helm for nearly 21 years and, despite a section of supporters calling for him to depart this summer when his contract expires, he is now expected to further that stay after holding talks with Arsenal's board on Tuesday.

Wenger's future has been up in the air for much of the season as both he and the club refused to publicly announce their intentions.

Board members are due to give their assent to those plans.

Former players critical of Wenger as well as those fans who wanted him out would reply they have had to witness Groundhog Day nearly every season since their last Premier League title ('The Invincibles' unbeaten campaign in 2003/04) of failing to keep star names, replacing them often with poor purchases and not really threatening to win the championship at the business end of a season.

It remains to be seen if Wenger and Arsenal will sever ties just days after the Gunners beat Chelsea at Wembley claim a record 13th FA Cup success, but Wright believes that could well be the case.

Wenger was ebullient about his side whose vibrant performance to outplay the Premier League champions he described as one of the proudest moments of his long career.

Wenger has been told that his core powers - coaching, picking the team and directing the transfer strategy - will not be affected but has been sensitive about the parameters of change and also did not want any of his core staff to leave against his will.

He said more light would be shed on his situation on Wednesday or Thursday, but there seems little doubt Wenger is still held in high regard by the players.

As revealed by The Telegraph ahead of the final Premier League game of the season against Everton, Wenger paved the way for staying after being reassured that changes proposed to the sporting structure by chief executive Ivan Gazidis would not impact on his core decision making.

"The best presentation is to watch the game", he said. "I've played until the end of my contract, which is today basically". The team won nine of their final 10 fixtures - including the Cup semi-final against Manchester City and the final against Chelsea. All three are poised to enter the final season on their contracts.

"The only way the board should have let him run down his contract is if they had private assurances he was staying".

"Otherwise, it is total incompetence to get to this stage".

  • Julie Sanders