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Arsenal’s season now rests on the Europa League and there are strong indications that the club will call time on Wenger’s two-decade long reign in charge in north London should they fail to win the competition and qualify for the Champions League next season.
Leonardo Jardim, Mikel Arteta, Joachim Low and Brendan Rodgers are all said to be on a shortlist compiled by chief executive Ivan Gazidis, who has been putting the building blocks in place for Wenger’s departure since last season.
In recent months Gazidis has appointed Raul Sanllehi, the former director of football at Barcelona, as the new head of football relations, while Sven Mislintat has come in as the new head of recruitment.
“I don’t know (if the club is planning for his departure),” said the Arsenal boss. “In life you focus on the quality of your job. How well you commit, how hard you work. And you try to master what you can master.
“You will not decide your future in your newspapers, and I am exactly like you. I am an employee and I give my best for my club that I love.”
Wenger then appeared to backtrack slightly when quizzed further on the situation, stating that he would in fact have a part to play in any decision about his future.
“The decision has technically always been mine and that will remain because it’s part of my job,” he added.
Wenger’s comments further cloud the situation after he refused to confirm on Thursday whether his position would be reviewed in the summer, something he suggested would happen during last year’s AGM at the Emirates.
But the Arsenal boss maintains – as he has always done – that he will honour his contract.
“I have been here for 21 years and I always respected my contract so I am quite amazed that you ask me the question,” he said. “In life, I look at what people do, not at what they say. What I did in my life was that, so I am quite amazed that you asked me the question.
“If you want me not to be here, that’s a different problem. You ask me my commitment, and my attitude is dictated by what I did in my life, not by what I say in a press conference.”
Josh Kroenke, son on majority shareholder Stan, is currently in London and is conducting a review of all aspects of the club.
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