Arsene Wenger reportedly wants to stay at Arsenal for another five season in order to reach 1,000 Premier League games.
On New Year’s Eve, Wenger overtook Sir Alex Ferguson’s record of 811 Premier League games in charge and, by the end of the season, the Frenchman will have reached 828.
However, according to the Daily Star, this isn’t enough. The 68-year-old has allegedly spoken to the club and wants to stay on board until he reaches the 1,000-game mark, which will take around five more years.
This would keep Wenger at Arsenal until the age of 73, two years older than Fergie when he retired.
The report comes from the Star, which obviously means it should be taken with a massive pinch of salt, and was published before Arsenal’s shameful 1-0 defeat to Spurs on Saturday afternoon.
It also sounds like a bit of a reach. Does Wenger really care about being in charge for 1,000 Premier League games?
It sounds unlikely.
But is speculating that Wenger could opt to extend his deal in north London further really that outlandish?
At the moment, the Frenchman has a year-and-a-half on his contract and I imagine he’ll see that out at the very least, but Wenger’s also shown time and time again that he doesn’t know when to say ‘enough’.
I know we joke about Wenger staying at Arsenal forever but I can genuinely see him refusing to leave despite the backlash he knows he would face from the fans and media.
If you read Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s recent comments about wanting longer to work with Wenger, they suggest that the boss could have told him he’s staying.
“Of course sometimes you need some refreshing,” Miki told ESPN Brasil. “And I think this was the best moment for me, because there were a few things that didn’t work out in Manchester… Because I was 29 years old, I wanted to play more, because I know that in a few years time I’ll be able to end my football career, and it’s very important for me to make my name bigger.
“That’s why, maybe, it was the best moment, and the best time to change something and to get a new challenge, a new club, and start everything from zero. I’ve learned a lot from my previous two managers, Klopp and Mourinho, and I want to learn more from Arsene Wenger as well. And it’s too early to compare them to each other, I still need time to work with Arsene Wenger. Of course from the time being here I’ve learned a lot already, and I want to learn more.”
Could Wenger have given the 29-year-old reassurances that he was staying if he wanted to work with him? Would Miki have turned down his move from Manchester United if Wenger was leaving soon?
On the other hand, I could just as easily see Wenger finally calling it a day after this season.
Everything surrounding Arsenal is up in the air at the moment and nothing feels certain.