Soccer

Longtime manager Arsene Wenger leaving Arsenal at end of season

AP, Reuters

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger on Friday said he will leave the English club at the end of the season after more than 21 years in charge.

The 68-year-old Frenchman has won the Premier League title three times and the F.A. Cup seven times with Arsenal since taking over in October 1996, but has faced growing disillusionment from fans in recent years.

In a statement released by Arsenal on Friday, Wenger, a former Nagoya Grampus boss, said he made his decision to step down “after careful consideration and following discussions with the club.”

He added: “I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years.

“I managed the club with full commitment and integrity.

“I want to thank the staff, the players, the directors and the fans who make this club so special. I urge our fans to stand behind the team to finish on a high.”

Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke said it is “one of the most difficult days we have ever had in all our years in sport.”

Wenger had one more year left on his contract.

Arsenal said it will make an appointment as soon as possible.

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