By 90Min
February 14, 2018

Arsenal have put in place an 'exit strategy' for Arsene Wenger this summer, if the club fails to qualify for the Champions League amid pressure from sponsors, according to Sportsmail.

Arsenal failed to qualify for European club football's top competition for the first time since 1997 last season, and are currently eight points behind Chelsea in the race for the top four and qualification to next season's tournament. 

Winning the Europa League seems like the most likely route for the Gunners to secure a return to the Champions League this year. However, should they fail, Wenger's position could be reassessed, despite his current contract running until 2019.

Stu Forster/GettyImages

Sportsmail's report claims that the club hierarchy (who handed Wenger a contract extension only last season) are now tetchy about the future, with potential kit suppliers 'apprehensive' about investing big in a club without a place at Europe's top table.

Arsenal's current £150m five-year deal with Puma is up in 2019, and while Nike and adidas are both reportedly interested in taking over, a lack Champions League qualification could deter the sportswear giants or significantly decrease their offers.

The report also claims the board want Wenger’s future settled ahead of next season with three options on the table to provide clarity. Wenger could either leaved at the end of the 2017/18 season, confirm he will go when his deal expires in the summer of 2019, or he could yet be handed another contract extension.

Wenger has always maintained that he will honour his contract, but whether he is now allowed to see out his deal is apparently up in the air.

Arsenal take on Östersunds FK on Thursday night in the last 32 of the Europa League, as the Gunners seek to replicate Manchester United's success in 2017 by winning the competition to gain an automatic place in the Champions League next season.

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