Arsene Wenger has announced that he will part company with Arsenal at the end of the season.
Wenger, 68, who took charge of the club in October 1996, will end his tenure as the longest-serving manager in the Premier League next month.
“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,” Wenger announced in a statement on the club’s official website.
“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.”
The club’s majority owner Stan Kroenke said the announcement of Wenger’s departure was “one of the most difficult days we have ever had in all our years in sport”.
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.”
“We have high ambitions to build on Arsene’s remarkable tenure and to honour his vision by ensuring that Arsenal competes for and wins the biggest and most important prizes in the game.”
The statement added that the club “will make an appointment as soon as possible”.