Premier League - Wenger to sign three-year, £24m Arsenal deal

Arsene Wenger is set to sign a three-year contract with Arsenal worth £24 million, according to various media reports.

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Premier League - Wenger to sign three-year, £24m Arsenal deal
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Arsene Wenger, Arsenal (AFP)

Wenger has sealed the massive contract after leading the side to FA Cup glory – the club's first trophy for nine seasons.

Most media outlets say the new deal will be worth £24m, although the Daily Telegraph claims it will "only" be worth £22m.

According to figures published by Sporting Intelligence last December, Wenger's previous contract was worth £6.89m-a-season, meaning he has been handed a pay rise of over £1m-a-year.

His new £8m-a-year salary puts him number four in the list of highest paid managers in world football behind Marcelo Lippi (Guangzhou, £8.34m), Jose Mourinho (Chelsea, £8.37m) and Pep Guardiola (Bayern Munich, £14.8m)

Wenger admitted he questioned whether Arsenal were on the right path during nine barren seasons but now hopes people will focus on the positives following their FA Cup triumph.

The Gunners finally delivered a first piece of silverware in almost a decade when Aaron Ramsey fired home an extra-time winner to beat Hull 3-2 and complete a remarkable comeback having trailed 2-0 inside eight minutes at Wembley.

"I question honestly myself. We live in a world where people, they tell you always what you have not (done), they never tell you that you have done something as well," he said.

"I believe as well the quality of a club is the consistency and then the special players make you win the trophies.

"The quality of the consistency is important for the club and on that front we have been better than everybody else - there are only two clubs in Europe who have 17 years consecutively qualified for the Champions League and that consistency demands special values inside the club."

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EUROSPORT'S VIEW

£24 million over three years for winning one trophy in nine. Not bad, Arsene. Not bad. In all seriousness, though, Wenger deserves his new contract at the Emirates. Though he received much criticism in recent years for a lack of silverware, Wenger has consistently guided his side into the Champions League, which is tremendously lucrative, and he is now the longest-serving manager in the top flight – something of which means he probably deserves the fourth highest managerial pay packet in world football. Sometimes in football it is a case of better the devil you know, and while some Arsenal fans might be frustrated with Wenger, it might be worth asking who could realistically do a better job?

WHAT HAPPEN'S NEXT?

Now that Wenger's new deal seems to be locked in, the next job is getting busy in the transfer market. According to the Times, Manchester City's James Milner is a £10m target with Wenger planning to play the England international in central midfield. With a reported war chest of £100m, that would still leave plenty of money left in the bank. A striker has to be the next priority. Bayern Munich's Mario Mandzukic, Schalke's Julian Draxler and QPR's Loic Remy have all been linked. A new right-back will be needed too if, as expected, Bacary Sagna leaves the club. Serge Aurier, Toulouse's highly rated 21-year-old Ivory Coast international, has been heavily linked.

WHAT THE MEDIA ARE SAYING

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Amy Lawrence (The Guardian): Wenger broke with his traditional caution when he traded at the highest end of the market to bring in Mesut Özil last summer. More luxury goods are required to compete with more confidence against fellow members of the top four. Recruitment at this level remains fairly new to Arsenal. The manager certainly gave the impression that it is worth pushing the boat out as he surveyed the scenes on Sunday from the platform erected outside the Emirates for the squad to show off the FA Cup to the elated masses. For perhaps the first time since they left dear old Highbury, the place had the feel of a properly lived-in home. They needed to taste success there. Winning a trophy at their new stadium felt like a big deal to Wenger.

Matt Hughes (The Times): The most important victory of Arsène Wenger’s career will be followed by arguably his most important summer. Having arrived at the FA Cup final at something of a crossroads, Arsenal remain stuck at a junction even in its glorious aftermath, unsure whether to turn left or right after ending yesterday’s victory parade at Islington town hall. Wenger will be the man who eventually leads them forward, although the club’s destination remains unsure. The 64-year-old’s hunger and desire is insatiable, as he showed by cavorting around Wembley with his players like a giddy schoolboy after the final whistle, but questions remain over his judgment. Now that the emotion and excitement have begun to fade, it would be wrong to depict even such a cathartic victory as bringing ultimate vindication for Wenger. Arsenal’s afternoon was too fraught, the outcome far too uncertain, for that. No responsible professor, as Wenger used to be known back in the age of deference, would encourage his students to conduct their final examinations in such a manner.

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