Arsene Wenger is enjoying speculation linking him with the England job as the Sunday Supplement panel believe he’ll use it to push for a new Arsenal contract.
The French tactician is celebrating 20 years at the club this week, but his current deal is set to expire next summer which will naturally lead to uncertainty over his future.
In turn, he added fuel to the fire this week in his press conference by leaving the door open to taking the England job further down the line.
“My priority is to do well here,” Wenger said, as noted by Sky Sports. “This has always been my club. If I am free one day, why not? But I am concentrated on my job.”
However, speaking on the Sunday Supplement, The Mirror journalist John Cross put forward his argument that ultimately Wenger will use the interest from the FA to his advantage when sitting down and potentially discussing a new Arsenal deal.
“I think he is aiming for another contract [at Arsenal],” Cross said. “I think he is enjoying fluttering his eyelids at the FA and I think he’s done that consistently throughout his Arsenal career to always make sure he gets good contracts. He’s one of the best paid managers in the world, always has been.
“Wenger is a very cute negotiator. I think he is enjoying the attention of the FA but I think his number one priority will be to stay and sign a new contract at Arsenal.”
Prior to their encounter with Burnley on Sunday, the Gunners sit fifth in the Premier League table with 13 points from their opening six games of the campaign.
Having bounced back from their opening weekend defeat to Liverpool with an eight-game unbeaten run in all competitions, the confidence appears to be growing within the club that they are capable of launching another assault at winning the Premier League title.
It’s been 12 years since Arsenal last finished top of the pile, while they’ve won just three FA Cups in the time that has since passed which has unsurprisingly led to criticism of Wenger for his inability to regularly win trophies at such a big club.
Nevertheless, much will now depend on what he achieves this season as success could lead to Arsenal considering their options and putting a new contract on the table to extend the 66-year-old’s stay.