London (AFP) – Arsene Wenger insists he is working on Arsenal’s future even though he still won’t reveal whether he plans to remain in charge after this season.
Wenger is out of contract at the end of the current campaign and has yet to sign a new deal amid calls for his resignation from Arsenal fans frustrated at their team’s disappointing form in recent years.
Asked on Tuesday if there was any news on his future, the Frenchman told reporters: “No, no”, and repeated the response when pressed on whether he had any idea when an announcement will be made.
And as for whether any decision would be based around how Arsenal perform over the final few weeks of the season, the answer once again was “no”.
The 67-year-old gave himself a little breathing space by leading Arsenal to the FA Cup final against Chelsea thanks to Sunday’s 2-1 semi-final win over Manchester City at Wembley.
But, with Arsenal struggling to qualify for the Champions League via a top-four finish in the Premier League, Wenger knows it would only take a loss against Leicester on Wednesday to spark renewed criticism of his reign.
Even so, reports suggest he is leaning towards staying and he seemed to validate those suggestions when he talked about looking at transfer targets for next season.
“I work until the last day of the season for the future,” he said.
“Transfer targets are important for the future of the club. That (my future) is secondary, the future of the club is important.”
Wenger’s side host Leicester knowing a victory would move them back up to sixth, three points behind Manchester United and four behind Manchester City, who play each other on Thursday.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could be involved against the Foxes despite leaving Wembley on crutches.
The England midfielder took a kick to his foot against City and will be assessed before Wenger names his squad.
“It was precautionary. It is not a bad injury and we will test him today (Tuesday). Nobody was really injured after the game,” Wenger said.
“Overall that win will give us a bit more confidence, I think it will convince everybody that with the right energy level, the right fighting spirit and the right togetherness we can beat everybody.
“For morale, yes for sure, for confidence as well. Big games give you the confidence that you can win and that is the most important thing in our job.”
Wenger admits Arsenal are likely to have to win all of their remaining games to stand a chance of breaking back into the top four.
“It looks like we will, that has to be the target and to achieve that we have to win the next one,” he said.
“We have to take the energy level we showed on Sunday into the Premier League.”
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