Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has revealed his future will be finalised after next week’s FA Cup final.
The 67-year-old has just two matches remaining before his current contract expires but has yet to announce publicly if he will sign fresh terms to remain at the Emirates Stadium.
Wenger is approaching 21 years in charge of the Gunners but faces an uphill task to continue a proud record of finishing inside the Premier League top four in all of his full seasons at the helm.
Arsenal need to beat Everton at home and hope either Liverpool or Manchester City slip up to allow them to gatecrash the Champions League places.
After that, Wenger will prepare his players for a third FA Cup final in five years when they take on Chelsea at Wembley on May 27.
The Frenchman has been batting away questions over his future for the last few months, but confirmed a meeting held in the days following the final - where he will be looking to win a record eighth FA Cup - will be when his future is discussed.
Asked when the board meeting is scheduled for, Wenger replied: “I think it is after the FA Cup final.”
Wenger believes it is “sad” his former Arsenal captain Tony Adams has criticised him in his new autobiography.
The current Granada boss questioned Wenger’s coaching ability in his forthcoming autobiography. Speaking in his autobiography Sober, serialised in The Sun, he said: “Arsene is essentially not a coach — and that is the second reason why I believe he didn’t want me. Back in the day I said in an interview coaching wasn’t Arsene’s strong point.
“Actually in the original draft, I said he couldn’t coach his way out of a paper bag. And though I modified that in the final article, it didn’t go down well. It all left me feeling that I would never get a chance in any capacity while Arsene was there.
“Much as I respected him for his long and successful tenure, my occasional willingness to pass comment on him and the team probably counted against me.’’
Wenger, who had Adams working at Arsenal in the youth set-up for a short spell last year, said the remarks did not cause him pain and said he would rather focus his energies elsewhere.
Asked if he had been hurt by Adams, he said:” “No. He can show what he can do now. Who gives importance to that? I know him for a long time. It’s sad.
“I am respectful to everybody. I don’t have anything to say about that. For me it’s a subject of no interest. And so I would like to dedicate my time to something that is more interesting.”
Adams won four league titles and three FA Cups during a 19-year career at Arsenal but has struggled since trying to make it as a manager.
After disappointing spells at Wycombe, Portsmouth and Azeri side Gabala he is now in charge of Granada. Adams has losing all of his six games in charge at Granada, who were relegated.
With Wenger’s future still uncertain, tomorrow’s visit of Everton could prove his last-ever game in charge of Arsenal at Emirates Stadium.
But the 67-year-old is more focused on beating the Toffees than on his own situation – highlighting his point by having one final dig at Adams.
“What is most important for me is to do the job well and finish the season as strongly as we can,” he said.
“If we finish the job well, it can be maximum one point short. I’m not here for personal glory or to sell books, I’m here to do the job.”
Meanwhile Everton boss Ronald Koeman is not confident Ross Barkley will stay with the club but is “not worried” about the situation.
Koeman says the Toffees are looking for players who operate in Barkley’s position irrespective of whether or not the 23-year-old midfielder signs a new deal, with his current contract expiring in the summer of 2018.
Koeman said: “I’m not worried, because I like to work with players who like to stay. And - it is not about his decision - we will go on. We are looking for players in that position. Even if he stays, there will be more competition for him next season.”
Koeman also said he knew of no update in terms of Romelu Lukaku, the striker who in March told Everton he will not sign the contract extension on offer. Lukaku has scored 24 league goals this season, which had him in pole position for the golden boot until Tottenham’s Harry Kane netted four times at Leicester on Thursday to take his tally to 26.
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