Arsenal FC has confirmed that manager Arsene Wenger has extended his contract at the club until 2019.
The Gunners made the announcement on Wednesday after Goal had earlier revealed that the Frenchman had agreed to two more seasons at the helm.
The new deal for the man who has spent over 20 years at the club was approved after a private meeting between Wenger and majority shareholder Stan Kroenke in a secret location on Monday.
Details of the Frenchman’s contract were then confirmed 24 hours later in a boardroom meeting, and Goal understands that despite widespread talk of a Director of Football model, the structure of the club is set to remain the same.
Wenger’s future has been shrouded in uncertainty for the entire 2016-17 season, with Arsenal finishing fifth in the Premier League table to accelerate rumours that a managerial change was going to take place.
It is the first time that the north Londoners have failed to qualify for the Champions League under Wenger – a competition that once again ended in disappointment for the Gunners in the current campaign after they were humiliated by Bayern Munich back in March.
Arsenal did, however, claim FA Cup glory after a 2-1 win over Chelsea, with the announcement over Wenger’s extension now having arrived four days after that success.
Demonstrations and protests from various fans against Wenger’s reign have been commonplace over the season, with the likes of Thomas Tuchel, the now unemployed former Dortmund manager, and Eddie Howe having been mooted as possible replacements.
But Wenger clearly maintains support at boardroom level and will now look to step up preparations for the 2017-18 season, with the club’s supporters undoubtedly keen to see their team challenge for the title.
Following the announcement of his extension, the Frenchman told the club’s official website: “I love this club and I am looking forward to the future with optimism and excitement. We are looking at what we do well and how we can be stronger everywhere. This is a strong group of players and with some additions we can be even more successful.
“We’re committed to mounting a sustained league challenge and that will be our focus this summer and next season. I am grateful to have the support of the board and Stan in doing everything we can to win more trophies. It’s what we all want and I know it’s what our fans around the world demand.”
Extending the contracts of star duo Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, who both have one year remaining on their current deals, will be a top priority for Wenger in the summer months.