Arsene Wenger says he has no plans to cut his Arsenal contract short, despite recent rumours that the club are lining up a replacement for the end of the season.

Reports this week claimed the Gunners agreed a deal with Carlo Ancelotti to take over from Wenger this summer. Outlets in Italy even detailed the four-year offer he had allegedly ‘accepted’.

But the Arsenal manager says he’s still just as likely to honour his contract as ever.

He told journalists in his pre-match press conference, “Will I be here next season? My contract clarifies that. Have I ever walked away (from a contract)? Never. Why should I change?”

Wenger has a history of honouring contracts and he doesn’t like to let people forget that.

In fact, when he was first employed by Arsenal, he didn’t start the role immediately because he still had a deal with Nagoya Grampus Eight. He only left when they eventually granted him a release in late September.

Back then, he was leaving a smaller Japanese club for one of the biggest clubs in the world. If he wouldn’t fast-track that process, it’s hard to see why he’d be enthusiastic to speed up this one, given he would be leaving his life’s work.

Some fans speculated that Arsenal gave Wenger a two-year deal so they could finally sort out a successor.

Waiting until the very end of his contract before fans were told what was happening bred a toxic atmosphere amongst supporters. We saw that all too clearly last season.

Editor’s note

by Lee Hurley

As it stands, it looks like next season could be just as chaotic as last season with Wenger already admitting that his delay in signing a new deal negatively impacted the team in their chase for fourth place.

It’s hard to understand how playing things out the same way once again is likely to go any better.

In December, Tony Adams said he wouldn’t be surprised if Wenger signed a new deal. After years of being at each other’s throats, if that were to happen, Arsenal fans could, finally, become united again – this time in their anger at the club.

As it stands, we are a six months away from being right back where we were six months ago.

Fun times.