Arsene Wenger will sign a new long-term contract to extend his stay as Arsenal manager at the end of the season, according to reports on Saturday.
Wenger – whose Arsenal team host Chelsea in the Premier League on Sunday – has so far refused to make a public declaration about his intentions with under 18 months left on his current Gunners deal.
But Wenger, who was appointed Arsenal manager way back in September 1996, is reportedly ready to put pen to paper on an extension, with The Sun claiming an agreement has been reached after the Frenchman rubberstamped the club’s new scouting network.
The paper claims Wenger has already begun preparing for the club’s next decade with an off-field overhaul.
Steve Rowley, Arsenal’s chief scout for nearly 20 years, has recently been promoted to head of scouting.
That has seen former Gunners midfielder Steve Morrow – famous with Arsenal fans for falling off Tony Adams’ back while celebrating his 1993 League Cup Final winner – asked to head up the youth scouting network.
Leicester scout Steve Walsh had been linked with a move to Arsenal but the one vacancy in Wenger’s recruitment team – after Brian McDermott left as UK scout to return as manager at Reading – is expected to be filled internally.
And overseas scouting is under the watch of technical secretary Francis Cagigao, with Arsenal having successfully resisted an attempt by Real Madrid to poach the Spaniard.
Wenger’s micro-managing appears further evidence that his enthusiasm to stay and build on his existing Arsenal legacy remains strong.
An announcement is expected by the summer but few inside the Emirates now anticipate Wenger will do anything other than confirm he still believes he has plenty to give ands that he has no intention of walking away from the club he has already rebuilt in his own image.
Wenger, 66, has won nine major trophies with Arsenal, including the Premier League three times — in 1998, 2002 and 2004 — and the FA Cup six times.