Wenger focused on Arsenal despite desire to keep working elsewhere

By Ben Spratt 25 April 2018 171
Wenger focused on Arsenal despite desire to keep working elsewhere

Arsene Wenger will not think about his next move until he leaves Arsenal at the end of the season as he underlined his desire to continue coaching.

The Arsenal boss announced last week that he will depart Emirates Stadium at the end of 2017-18, bringing the curtain down on a 22-year tenure in which he won three Premier Leagues and seven FA Cups.

And speculation has quickly turned to what is next for both man and club, with Wenger linked to various jobs as a number of potential replacements for him are mooted.

The Frenchman conceded that he would have preferred not to have made the announcement before a huge Europa League semi-final clash with Atletico Madrid, but his mind remains on his job.

"I honestly don't know what I will do [next]," he told a news conference ahead of Thursday's opening leg at the Emirates. "Will I take a little rest? I will continue to work, that's for sure.

"My pride has always been to give my best to where I'm employed until the last day of my contract. At the moment, I'm just focused on that.

"I'm not ready to commit to anything other than doing my best for Arsenal Football Club."

But Wenger has no issue with the numerous reports on the identity of the next man in at Emirates Stadium, acknowledging that this was always likely to be the case.

"At the moment, I do my job and keep my routine, focus on what I have to do every day and prepare for the game," he said.

"It will be surreal for me when I don't work. At the moment, I work like always.

"You are never sure you are doing the right thing, but life is interesting, as well, because you have to deal with different situations. I have had, until now, a life filled with different experiences - some were very difficult to deal with, but I always did it - and this is another one I will face.

"It's not strange for me [to hear speculation]. I understand that. People want to know what the future is about. For me, that's completely normal."

Asked specifically about former Barcelona boss Luis Enrique - linked with the job - Wenger replied: "I have a high opinion of him, but I do not want to influence the job for the next manager."

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