LONDON — Arsene Wenger has dismissed Ian Wright’s claim that the Arsenal boss indicated he is nearing the end of his reign, saying he is “not ready” to rest yet.
Wright fuelled speculation that Wenger could walk away from the Arsenal job this summer by saying the manager had told him “that he’s coming to the end” when the two attended a QA event for the club’s Diamond Club members on Thursday night.
Wright also said Wenger looked tired and like “he has lost all his wind” after the team’s losses to Watford and Chelsea ramped up the pressure on the Arsenal boss.
But after Arsenal beat Hull 2-0 at the Emirates on Saturday to get back on track, Wenger said Wright had the wrong impression.
“I could be tired because I get up early in the morning, and I finish late at night. So sometimes I’m tired, yes, but I didn’t give any indication about my future,” Wenger said. “I appreciate very much that you want me to rest absolutely, but I’m not ready for that.”
The 67-year-old also said he had not had a one-on-one conversation with Wright that evening.
“No, it was a question and answers with members of the Diamond Club, so there were many people there,” he said. “We had a little dinner before, but it was not the two of us, it was four or five.”
Wright had told BBC Radio Five Live that the evening had given him the impression that Wenger would call it quits when his contract expires after this season.
“I was with him for a few hours last night and we’re talking. He didn’t say to me ‘I’m leaving at the end of the season’ but … I get the impression looking at him that that’s it,” Wright said. “He actually mentioned when I was talking to him last night that he’s coming to the end. I’ve never heard him say that.”
Mattias is ESPN FC’s Arsenal correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @MattiasKaren.