Premier League - Paper Round: Two-year deal, £70m for Wenger

Reports of Arsene Wenger’s demise at Arsenal may have been greatly exaggerated.

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After Sunday’s papers speculated about the beginning of the end for the Frenchman, Monday’s gossip pages tell a different story and indeed Arsenal could be set for their biggest ever spending spree this summer, while Wenger could net himself a new deal.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Wenger will be given a £70m ‘war chest’ in the summer to spend on players "regardless of whether they secure Champions League qualification."

The paper says that: "The club’s faith in Wenger and their strategy is unshaken, even if they do go another season without silverware and fail to finish in the top four.

"Around £70 million will be available for squad strengthening this summer, with Arsenal targeting 'three or four' players, including a genuinely world-class striker to fill the void that has been left by Robin van Persie.

"Wenger’s current contract, however, expires in 2014, leaving Arsenal facing a potentially momentous decision over their most successful manager at some stage in the next year."

As for who these "three of four" new players might be, the paper mentions Toulouse midfielder Etienne Capoue, 24, Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina, 30, and Fiorentina striker Stevan Jovetic, 23, as major targets.

Such is the faith in Wenger at the Emirates that the club are to offer him a two-year contract extension, according to the Sun.

"There has been fresh impetus in the boardroom to keep hold of the manager and develop a team to take advantage of the new financial fair play rules, which start to bite in two seasons’ time," the paper says.

"Wenger, whose £7m-a-year salary makes him one of the highest-paid bosses in world football, has indicated to insiders he would be prepared to sit down for talks. And that could see him signing fresh terms before the summer."

The Daily Mail meanwhile claims that Wenger held an immediate 45-minute inquest into his Arsenal side’s failings after the shock FA Cup defeat by Blackburn in a bid to salvage their season ahead of tomorrow’s Champions League clash with Bayern Munich.

They also say that Wenger is "determined to replace struggling goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny" and also mention Pepe Reina as a potential signing, although in the Sun it is Barcelona's Victor Valdes’s name that is mentioned as a potential new Arsenal goalkeeper.

To other rumours and Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho has said “why not?” to a potential move to France after being asked if he would be interested in the Paris Saint-Germain job. (Daily Mail)

England boss Roy Hodgson is putting Celtic centre-half Kelvin Wilson on standby for a debut call after his Champions League heroics. The big and quick defender has caught the eye of the Three Lions chief who has pencilled him for a squad place in the coming internationals. (Daily Mirror)

Celtic boss Neil Lennon has also told Anthony Stokes he can win a new Celtic contract – just weeks after threatening to boot him out of the club. (Daily Record)

And finally, Southampton risk losing in-form Jason Puncheon for nothing by stalling on offering the winger a new deal. Quick-fire Puncheon is out of contract in the summer and his six Premier League goals this season have sparked interest from West Ham and Newcastle. (Daily Mirror)

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