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Page last updated at 11:48 GMT, Wednesday, 20 May 2009 12:48 UK

Wenger commits future to Arsenal

By Sam Lyon

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
Arsenal's last trophy triumph under Wenger was the 2005 FA Cup

Arsene Wenger has committed himself to Arsenal following speculation linking him with a summer switch to Real Madrid, BBC Sport understands.

The Frenchman's near 13-year reign has been brought into the spotlight recently following the club's failure to win a trophy in four years.

And Wenger said this week that managing Real would be "an interesting project".

But after a day of talks with chief executive Ivan Gazidis, Wenger has reaffirmed his commitment to the club.

Wenger and Gazidis had their regular meeting at the club's training ground on Tuesday but instead of discussing the manager's immediate future much of the talk was about plans for next season and the summer transfer targets.

The former Monaco boss has two more seasons to run on his Arsenal contract and has always insisted in the past that he would never break that deal.


However, it is thought the 59-year-old has grown increasingly angry at what he perceives to be a lack of support from the fans.

At an open shareholders' question and answer session last week, Wenger's tactics, team selection and transfer policy were attacked by a section of supporters angry at the club's failure to win any silverware since their 2005 FA Cup triumph.

And Wenger appeared to aim a warning to those supporters off the back of that meeting when he initially refused to calm speculation linking him with a summer move to the Bernabeu, requesting instead that he be allowed to "remain discreet on that matter".

It followed reports Wenger had met with Real presidential candidate Florentino Perez, who would be keen to recruit the Frenchman should his bid to take over the Spanish giants prove successful.

That prompted a sense of disquiet among the Arsenal board, with some fearing the two-time Double winner would end his association with the Gunners.

But he has since been keen to calm talk that he will walk out on his contract and told the Daily Mail: "There's nothing to worry about, it's not an issue for me. I'm staying here."

It means Wenger will now concentrate on next season, with the possibility that he will dip into the transfer market this summer - although the club's budget for new players is understood to be a lot less than the £30m figure executive director Danny Fiszman said was available last summer.

Former Arsenal keeper Bob Wilson expected nothing else from Wenger, he told BBC Sport.

"Knowing Arsene as I do, I don't think he would ever walk out on a contract," he stated.

"When you sign a player like Andrey Arshavin for that amount of money, when you get a player like Cesc Fabregas to agree to a seven-year contract, the player and their representatives are surely going to say along the way 'where do you feature in this boss?'.

"Unless there was 90% or 80% or 60% or 70% of people against him, I don't think he would ever walk out on a contract because he was such an honourable guy."

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