Arsene Wenger will sign a new contract at Arsenal – but also needs to change “many things” as he looks to take the club forward, according to former Gunners midfielder Robert Pires.
The veteran French coach has yet to publicly make an announcement on whether he will agree to a new two-year deal which is understood to currently be on the table – but revealed before the international break he has now made up his mind.
The 67-year-old continues to split opinion among Gunners’ supporters, with a growing number holding high-profile protests and calling for Wenger to leave when his current deal expires at the end of the season.
Arsenal have lost six of their last nine matches, which has seen them dumped out of the Champions League and left facing a battle to finish in the top four of the Premier League.
Wenger is expected to be pressed on his future once more when Arsenal hold a press conference on Thursday morning ahead of Sunday’s home match against Manchester City.
Pires was part of Wenger’s ‘Invincibles’ squad from 2003/2004 and now works as a coach at the club’s training centre in Hertfordshire.
The 43-year-old told Spanish radio station Cadena SER he believes Wenger has the desire to remain, but things have to be done differently going forwards.
🗓️ Nine years ago today…
2-0 down, 3-2 up – who remembers this trip to Bolton? pic.twitter.com/0nQ4QAfD9X
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) March 29, 2017
“In my opinion, he will renew his contract, at least for one season. He is motivated and willing,” Pires said.
“Arsene has an offer on the table. He has to sign it. He has the backing of the owner. The fans want to win the title and Arsenal are not doing that well. They are in the FA Cup semi-finals.
“He has to continue and if he does, he needs to change many things. That is the most important thing for him and for Arsenal.
“We will see what happens.”
Spanish forward Lucas Perez was signed by Wenger from Deportivo La Coruna during the summer, and believes the Gunners boss “is an icon”.
Speaking to Radio Marca, Perez said: “People respect him. His relationship with the players is very good and he has been here 20 years.
“I would like him to continue, but that’s his decision. He has not communicated his decision to the team or the club yet.”