Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed he will step down from his role at the end of the season after nearly 22 years in charge of the Gunners.
Arsene Wenger has announced that he will stand down as Arsenal manager at the end of the season.
Wenger, 68, will leave a year before his existing contract was due to expire having led the club to three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups during a 22-year reign.
Appointed on 1 October 1996, the Frenchman is the Premier League’s current longest-serving manager and has taken charge of a record 823 games.
In a statement to the club’s website, he said: “After careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season.
“I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years.
“I managed the club with full commitment and integrity.
“I want to thank the staff, the players, the Directors and the fans who make this club so special.
“I urge our fans to stand behind the team to finish on a high.
“To all the Arsenal lovers take care of the values of the club.
“My love and support forever.”
Wenger himself said on Thursday that former Arsenal midfielder Patrick Vieira “has the potential” to succeed him as manager .
The club’s majority owner Stan Kroenke asked Arsenal fans around the world to pay an appropriate tribute to the Frenchman who transformed the identity of the club.
The Gunners are sixth in the league and set to miss out on a top-four spot for the second straight season, with their hopes of reaching the Champions League resting on winning the Europa League.