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Last Updated: Saturday, 1 September 2007, 10:47 GMT 11:47 UK
Wenger close to new Arsenal deal
Arsene Wenger
Wenger says he will announce his future plans next week
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has hinted that he is close to agreeing a new contract at the Emirates, despite the rumours of a possible club takeover.

Wenger's contract expires at the end of the season and reports suggest he has delayed signing a new deal following the exit of vice-chairman David Dein.

But he said: "What I think when I'm negotiating the deal is whether I have the freedom to work the way I want to.

"I always had that with David Dein and, since David has gone, I still have it."

The Frenchman, 57, added: "That is, for me, the most important thing. There will be news on the contract next week."

Dein sold his 14.58% stake in the club for 75m to a company called Red and White, which is jointly owned by Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov.

And while new Red and White chairman Dein insists there are currently no plans to take over the club, he has indicated the company does want to increase its shareholding.

The Arsenal board also remain confident Wenger will commit himself to the Premier League club and sign a new contract.

Managing director Keith Edelman told BBC Radio 5live Sportsweek last week: "Arsene has a fantastic squad which we feel he'd like to develop to its full potential."

We are generating more money out of Emirates Stadium than our debt repayment

Arsenal managing director Keith Edelman
A three-year deal is reported to be on the table and Wenger, who has been with the London club for 11 years, hinted earlier this month that his protracted negotiations would soon reach a favourable conclusion.

"We're talking and usually when we talk, there's always a positive outcome," he said.

"I'm highly committed to the club. I have shown that many, many times in my life and I don't think anybody can question that."

Edelman added: "Arsene will decide when he wants to sign and when he does we'll announce it. It's very much in his court at this point in time."

Looking further in the future Edelman revealed that the club are keen to tie Wenger to the club long term.

606: DEBATE
HighburyRIP-Dungeon Keeper

"We'd like Arsene to be with the club for a very long time, but he'll have to look at what he wants to do as well," he said.

Wenger's future has been the subject of much speculation following the departure of former vice-chairman David Dein in April.

The former Monaco boss enjoyed a close working relationship with Dein, who was responsible for bringing him to England.

When Dein left after falling out with the rest of the board of directors over a possible takeover of the club, Wenger was immediately linked with other clubs, notably Real Madrid.

But it appears as though Wenger will remain with the club he has led to three Premiership titles and four FA Cup trophies.



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