Arsene Wenger Reacts to Reports He Will Leave Arsenal for Barcelona

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Arsene Wenger Reacts to Reports He Will Leave Arsenal for Barcelona
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Arsene Wenger his played down reports suggesting he could replace Gerardo Martino as Barcelona head coach, committing his future to Arsenal with a simple statement, per Miguel Delaney of ESPN.com:

The Frenchman has long been linked with signing a new Emirates contract, reported by Jeremy Wilson of the Telegraph, but he is yet to confirm a prolonged stay. This has led to speculation suggesting he could be lined up as a replacement for Tata, who has come under fire for La Blaugrana's failing season in Spain.

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Barcelona are currently four points off Real Madrid at the La Liga summit. The recent loss to Valladolid—who managed just their fifth win of the season with the 1-0 victory—has left Martino's men in a difficult position as we head toward crunch time.

Indeed, failure to beat Los Blancos in a crucial El Clasico fixture could spell the Argentinian's end on March 23.

Although the 4-1 aggregate win over Manchester City advanced Barca to the Champions League quarter-finals, Martino's emphasis on rotation and attempt to alter the Catalan giants' almost patented style of football has caused friction all season long.

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Wenger is certainly qualified for the Camp Nou post and would arrive with the right attributes to be successful. The experienced 64-year-old loves to play fast-paced, attacking football that is defined by ball retention and quick passes. This is comparable to Barca, who established an era-defining effectiveness built upon similar traits during Pep Guardiola's reign.

Correlations between the two clubs' philosophies are often made, and Arsenal's season has mimicked Barca's rather succinctly. Top of the league and in control with a number of profitable displays, a sudden loss of form has hampered their chances of winning the domestic division.

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The Gunners have won just two of their last five Premier League games and failed to beat Bayern Munich in either leg during their round of 16 Champions League tie. Currently seven points behind Chelsea with a game in hand, the team's most likely route of success is through the FA Cup.

Wenger is obviously committed to his team and may wish to bow out with success. Like Sir Alex Ferguson calling time on his Manchester United tenure with his final Premier League triumph, Wenger will want to go out on a high.

Barcelona is undoubtedly a tempting prospect, one that fits excellently with Wenger's doctrine of playing attractive football, but it is unlikely the Frenchman would call time on his 17-year Arsenal career without returning the Gunners to former glory.

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