Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal future will become clear by Wednesday or Thursday

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Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal future will become clear by Wednesday or Thursday

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said his future at the club will become clear by “Wednesday or Thursday”.

The 67-year-old’s contract expires this summer and signing a new deal has been the subject of speculation for months.

“We have a board meeting on Tuesday, and on Wednesday or Thursday it will be very clear,” Wenger told the BBC.

The Frenchman became the first manager to win seven FA Cups when he guided the Gunners to a 2-1 win over league champions Chelsea on Saturday.

It is understood that it is not a formal board meeting on Tuesday but Wenger’s future will be discussed by the club’s directors.

Arsenal won the FA Cup for a record 13th time as Wenger – who joined the Gunners in 1996 – also became the most successful manager.

The Frenchman’s contract runs out this summer and the season has been beset by protests from the club’s supporters, demanding he end his long association with the club.

In an interview Football Focus before the final, Wenger described the criticism he has had this season as “a disgrace” he will “never forget”.

The FA Cup victory adds some much-needed joy to a campaign in which they finished fifth in the Premier League, failing to reach the Champions League for the first time in 20 years.

“I know my mind. Let us enjoy this win and not worry about the future,” he said.

“I try to serve this club with always the same commitment and quality.

“We had some difficult moments but I spent every minute of my season on full commitment and we never give up and that is why today I am more proud than usual because the team and myself refused to give up and we finished the job in a positive way.

“Nobody gave us a chance and we responded with attitude and class and we have seen that today.

“For once I have kept my medal so that means it is a special night for me and for the rest we will see what happens in the future.”

‘Mertesacker an example’

Defender Per Mertesacker might have made more than 100 appearances for Germany and won a World Cup medal but the FA Cup final was his first start of the season.

He has had an injury-plagued season and played just 37 minutes before Saturday’s match, in the final league game against Everton.

But the defender put in an assured performance and kept Chelsea striker Diego Costa quiet for much of the game.

Wenger said: “Per Mertesacker, for me, is a perfect example for any young professional football player.

“What he did today was the consequence of an unbelievable attitude every day even when he was not selected.

“When he was not selected he worked even harder and that is why I will pay a special tribute to him tonight.”

Former Germany international Mertesacker said “not bad is it?” when asked about his manager’s achievements.

He added: “That is everything I have to say because there has been a lot said about him and I think the team said everything they needed to.”

Will he stay or will he go?

Midfielder Aaron Ramsey struck the winning goal in another cup final, having netted in the victory over Hull in 2014.

The Welshman backed manager Wenger by saying: “Of course I want him to stay at club. He deserves this. We changed the formation and had a lot of success.

“Fair play to him, he changed the system. Hopefully, he’ll be there next season.”

Striker Danny Welbeck collected his first piece of silverware with the club since joining from Manchester United in 2014. The England international said: “The manager is his own man and he makes his own decision and the board will make the right decision.”

Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright, who scored 185 goals for the north London club and won the FA Cup in 1993 and 1998 with the side, told BBC TV: “You cannot read him. You cannot read what Arsene Wenger is going to do.

“What he has done is put a lot of faith in his team. In certain games, they have shown what they are capable of, and today was one of those days.”