Two-year contract extension for Arsene Wenger confirmed

Arsenal have announced in a statement this afternoon that Arsene Wenger has signed a two-year extension to his contract as manager.

Wenger met with Arsenal majority owner Stan Kroenke on Monday, and the decision to extend the 67 year-old Frenchman’s contract was rubber-stamped at a board meeting yesterday.

The decision ends months of uncertainty over Wenger’s future, and his 21-year reign as Arsenal manager.

Arsenal finished 5th in the Premier League this season – 18 points behind champions Chelsea.

Finishing outside of the top four means that for the first time in 20 years Arsenal will not compete in the Champions League next season – where they made their obligatory exit at the last 16 stage again this season.

Saturday’s 2-1 FA Cup final victory over Chelsea helped to salvage what has been a disappointing season overall.

It remains to be seen whether Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil will commit their long-term futures to the club in the coming weeks. Both have one year remaining on their existing contracts.

Today’s club statement says that Arsène Wenger and chief executive Ivan Gazidis have conducted a full review of the club’s on and off the pitch activities to identify areas for improvement to build a sustained title challenge for next season.

It also makes reference to the ‘record £110m investment in players last summer, the £40 million investment in facilities at the London Colney training centre and the Academy at Hale End in the last two years.’

This is what Arsene Wenger, Stan Kroenke and Ivan Gazidis had to say in the statement.

Arsene Wenger said: “I love this club and I am looking forward to the future with optimism and excitement. We are looking at what we do well and how we can be stronger everywhere. This is a strong group of players and with some additions we can be even more successful. We’re committed to mounting a sustained league challenge and that will be our focus this summer and next season.

“I am grateful to have the support of the board and Stan in doing everything we can to win more trophies. It’s what we all want and I know it’s what our fans around the world demand.”

Stan Kroenke said: “Our ambition is to win the Premier League and other major trophies in Europe. It’s what the fans, players, staff, manager and board expect and we won’t rest until that is achieved. Arsène is the best person to help us make that happen. He has a fantastic track record and has our full backing.”

Ivan Gazidis said: “There is no complacency anywhere at this club. Our goal is to compete for and win trophies here and in Europe. Everything we do is designed to make that happen and we will be working hard on and off the pitch this summer to improve and make a strong challenge next season. The club has grown beyond recognition in every aspect in recent years and we have the platform to be successful and meet the ambitions we and our fans share.”