Arsene Wenger has denied that he has been offered a contract by Ligue 1 champions Paris St Germain.
Wenger has kept the footballing world guessing if he will sign a new contract with the Gunners but revealed after Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at West Brom that he has made up his mind.
That loss at the Hawthorns was Arsenal’s fourth in their last five Premier League games and they now sit sixth in the table.
Wenger has increasingly split the Arsenal fan-base with two protests organised before recent matches and two planes flown over the West Brom game carrying conflicting messages – one of support and one against any new deal being signed.
The Frenchman has previously said if he is to end his two-decade association with Arsenal he intends to manage elsewhere, with PSG the logical move given their wealth and the stuttering form under current coach Unai Emery.
But 67-year-old Wenger insists he has not already been approached by the Parisians, who were in Arsenal’s Champions League group this season.
Wenger told BeIN Sports: “It is a false rumour, that is what you call ‘fake news’. I formally deny it, it is not true.”
Despite their hapless league form and an English-record Champions League aggregate defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich – who won 10-2 against Arsenal over the two legs of their round of 16 tie – several reports claim Wenger is set to sign the two-year deal currently on the table.
Either way, Wenger said the announcement would be made “very soon”, with a tough league meeting with Manchester City to come after the international break and an FA Cup semi-final against the same opponents also on the horizon.
Wenger has received support from Arsenal striker and compatriot Olivier Giroud, who claims everyone at the club wants to see him stay.
He told Canal Plus: “We want Arsene Wenger to renew his contract, to continue his adventure, because we support him.
“We hope we can win the cup and that Arsenal qualify for the Champions League.”
Finishing in the top four, as Wenger has done in all 20 of his full seasons at the helm, is seen as the requirement by the Arsenal board but their resolve has never been tested as the result has always been delivered.
Now, with Chelsea 19 points clear of Arsenal at the top of the table and Wenger’s side languishing in sixth, even the manager himself admits the club are in a tough battle to maintain that record.
Meanwhile, PSG’s dominance of French football in recent seasons has been challenged this year as, with Emery in charge, the club sit three points behind leaders Monaco in Ligue 1 and were on the receiving end of Champions League history as Barcelona beat them 6-1 to overturn a four-goal first-leg deficit.