Timing of Arsenal not my decision, says Wenger

Arsene Wenger

New York City FC's French coach Patrick Vieira on Wednesday said that if asked to, he would be ready to lead Arsenal after the departure of his compatriot Arsene Wenger.

And speaking ahead of the first leg of the Europa League semi-final against Atletico Madrid, which comes at home on Thursday night, Wenger said the news was forced upon him. He also provided the clearest indication yet that he did not want to step down by revealing the timing of the decision was not down to him.

Aside from Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea have also been associated with the former Cagliari man but the midfielder's eagerness to play for an underperforming side could enhance the Gunners' chances.

The Gunners boss announced his imminent exit from the club after 22 years of service on Friday amid ongoing and repeated calls for his sacking.

"My pride has always been to give my best until the last day of my contract", he said.

"What's important for me is to focus and concentrate at what I'm going at the moment".

"I know people can say what they want, but [we've had] some very good performances, so a lot of things please me", Mourinho added.

Wenger, it must be remembered, always accentuated the fact that he has never broken a contract.

Wenger, who revealed Sir Alex Ferguson called him on Tuesday, added: "Is there a flawless goodbye?"

Arsenal find themselves sixth in their domestic table, 11 points shy of fourth-placed Tottenham with four matches remaining, meaning success in the Europa League is their last realisitic prospect of making the Champions League next season.

"My biggest satisfaction would be to be successful together with the group of players that I have". "I don't want this to be perceived that I want to go because I don't want to leave". We have been challenged mentally and I have seen my players respond. "He manages the speed of transitions at Arsenal - if he wants his team to play quickly he will get them playing quickly".

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