Arsene Wenger says he is making plans to stay for another 10 years.
However, it is clear that the 67-year-old is preparing to sign a new £8m-a-year contract to at least keep him at the Emirates until 2019 as he insisted he can reinvent himself and be successful again.
Wenger is helping to oversee the biggest revolution of his 21-year reign with a realisation at the club that major changes are needed to keep pace with their Premier League rivals.
Gunners boss Wenger is already looking at big summer targets with Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette top of his wish list, the club want a new academy boss and, in the long term, a director of football.
The master plan is for Wenger to help rebuild the club in the next two years of his contract and get it ready for a successor to take charge when he eventually retires.
It has all been agreed privately, they must choose their moment to announce it publicly but Wenger admits that he faces one of the toughest battles of his career to convince everyone it is the right move.
Despite the public uncertainty of his own position, Wenger insists the planning is going ahead for next season and potential signings will not be put off.
When asked if he was planning for the new campaign, Wenger said: “Yes of course. But again, I told you, do I stay two months or ten years? I plan to do my job exactly the same.
“We are always honest and when you speak with people you are always honest. Arsenal is a world brand today, respected all over the world, and the Arsenal name is bigger than my name.
“That’s more important. You don’t come to Arsene Wenger, you come to Arsenal.
“You try to ask yourself how to get to the next level, where you can improve, what can you work on. I have done that since I was a kid.
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“When you have my age, what is important is to have a project in life.
“Life is movement and evolution and competition, and in competition if you stand still the others move forward, so there is an evolution. So that is always existing and you have to move with it.”
Wenger was in a similar position in 2014 when his contract was running down, fans were frustrated, Arsenal were struggling to finish in the top four and were in the FA Cup semi final.
But back then Wenger was temperamental, snappy and a long way from where he is today as he is in good spirits, laughing and joking.
The only explanation is that Wenger knows the outcome – that he is staying and he is relaxed about it even if he knows some fans will not be happy.
Quite what they will do if the fall-out becomes insufferable is anyone’s guess, but Wenger admits he is happier and he believes he knows where the problems of his team lie.
Wenger added: “I don’t know if I am in a much better place. I am just in a place that I don’t want to be. I just lost a big game. And I will play another one that I absolutely have to win. I am focused and I know what to do.
“I managed enough games that I know that in football you have to go sometimes through tricky periods. I think as well a very difficult period is a good opportunity to show what you are about and for the team to show what they are about.
“It is a strange season because it just looked like it escaped from us in moments. Not for a lot. But every time for a fraction that was on the other side.
“That is why it is very difficult because it started at Everton where we were 1-0 up. At Man City we were 1-0 up. And things went just against us and we could not respond. But as well it is a weird feeling.
“Look our offence numbers are good. Our defensive numbers are less convincing. And that is not down to the defenders only.
“It is down to the balance of the team between going forward and defending. It is true that our offensive numbers are quite convincing.”