Arsene Wenger: Arsenal boss 'doesn't know' if cup final will be his last game

Arsene Wenger
Wenger has led Arsenal to six FA Cup titles since joining the club as manager in 1996

Arsene Wenger "does not know" if Saturday's FA Cup final will be his last match as Arsenal manager.

The Frenchman, whose future will be decided at a board meeting after the game, has been Gunners boss since 1996 but his contract expires this summer.

On Sunday he said uncertainty over his future did affect the club's form this season, but he again refused to expand further before the match with Chelsea.

"I want to win the cup for my club and that's all I care about," he said.

"Would it be a nice farewell? No, what I want is to win the next game. It's not about me, it's about us winning the trophy and giving everything to achieve it."

Wenger has won three Premier League titles and six FA Cup finals during two decades at the north London club, but this season he has faced fierce protests from fans calling for him to quit.

By finishing fifth in the Premier League, the Gunners failed to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in 20 years.

Should Arsenal win Saturday's match at Wembley, Wenger will claim his seventh FA Cup - matching the number of times Liverpool and Chelsea have won it in their entire history.

When asked on Wednesday if it would be his last game as Gunners boss he replied: "I don't know. It will not be my last match anyway because I will stay in football.

"I want to win the cup because I think the team has redressed very well the situation on the sporting side. It would be a good crowning of what we have done in the last two months."

'I always had to sell our best players'

Chelsea won the Premier League this season - the fifth time they have done so under the ownership of billionaire Roman Abramovich, who has spent heavily since taking control in 2003.

Blues boss Antonio Conte is reportedly to be granted £200m to spend on new players this summer.

Following the news of Alisher Usmanov's failed £1bn takeover bid Wenger was asked about Arsenal's comparative financial power.

"It's not all about money, football," he said. "It is important but it's not everything. I guided this club for years with very limited resources, I had to always sell our best players.

"Some clubs are stronger than us yes, but now I believe we are in a position to compete and we have a strong enough basic squad to compete at the top level."

Arsenal 'lucky' to have Wenger in charge

Mertesacker
Mertesacker played 37 minutes of Arsenal's 3-1 win over Everton last Sunday

Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker "cannot tell" whether Wenger will still be in charge at the Emirates next season, but says the Gunners "are lucky to have him".

"That was always my mindset when I came here," he added. "I was so happy to have him. He trusted me a lot.

"Short-term, we are just thrilled to be in that final with our manager."

Mertesacker has only made one substitute appearance this season, with the 32-year-old suffering from a knee injury.

However, he could start in the FA Cup final against Chelsea on Saturday with defenders Laurent Koscielny suspended, Gabriel Paulista injured and Shkodran Mustafi battling to overcome illness.

"I haven't played this year. But I have done this for 15 years so I expect myself to be absolutely ready no matter what comes," said the former Germany international.

"That is my mindset, no matter what happens or what is facing me on Saturday, I am going to go for it. I owe this to this team and to this club."

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