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Wenger calls time on Arsenal career

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The 68-year-old, who joined the Gunners in 1996 and has three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups, has made the decision despite still having one year left on his current contract.

A statement from the manager on Friday morning read: "After careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season.

"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.

"To all the Arsenal lovers take care of the values of the club.

"My love and support forever."

Arsenal majority shareholder Stan Kroenke added: "One of the main reasons we got involved with Arsenal was because of what Arsene has brought to the club on and off the pitch.

"His longevity and consistency over such a sustained period at the highest level of the game will never be matched."

Wenger will leave the Gunners as the Premier League's current longest-serving manager, having been in charge of a record 823 matches.

He won the FA Cup last season, and the Gunners remain on course for silverware this term ahead of facing Atletico Madrid in the Europa League semi-finals.

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