Timing Of Arsenal Departure Not My Decision, Says Wenger

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Arsène Wenger believes it would be "even better" for Arsenal if they were to appoint a former player at the club to succeed him as manager at the end of the season.

It was announced on Friday that the 68-year-old Frenchman will leave the club at the end of the season, despite having a year left on his contract.

Speaking ahead of the first leg of Arsenal's Europa League semi-final clash with Atletico Madrid, he told reporters: "I wish that all goes well [for the new man]", he said. "For the rest, I have spoken about it already".

Diego Simeone's side are obviously the favourites for the competition but Wenger will be aiming to guide the club to European success which would, in turn, assure them a spot in next season's Champions League.

And in separate quotes from the former France global in a different interview with the Times, the 41-year-old revealed that he knew there was talk about his potential appointment as he admitted he was "honoured" to even be part of the discussion. "So I wouldn't throw everything at it if I was Arsenal because Atletico are more than capable of picking them off and getting an away goal".

The Champions League final defeat against Barcelona, when Arsenal went down to 10 men and led until the 76th minute, remains the biggest regret of his career. "At the moment I'm just focused on that". I don't know, first of all. I will continue to work that's for sure.

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He added: "Is there a ideal goodbye?"

"We mention Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry, Mikel Arteta, it doesn't bother me, as long as they have a plan of action going forward, because the attitude of the players has to change and they have to get players in that buy into the plan".

But the Spanish right-back took to Twitter later that evening to make it very clear that nothing of the sort took place.

"But the reality is that he was at Arsenal, he was the champion and I came to the country in 2004 and wanted to steal his title".

"This group of players deserve something special". Two years ago, we finished second [in the Premier League].

The trio missed the weekend win over West Ham with minor problems but all trained on Wednesday.

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