Arsène Wenger has indicated a readiness to extend his Arsenal contract, saying there ought to be no complications in reaching an agreement. The manager will celebrate the 17th anniversary of his appointment on Monday and he made it clear he is thinking beyond his current deal, which expires at the end of the season.
"The good thing with me … if I have one quality, you don't need a lot of talks to extend the contract I have," Wenger said. "When will I sign? I don't know. When we find time. I don't think that [the contract] is the most important problem at the moment. That's straightforward.
"I would love to be here for ever because that would mean I would be immortal! I'm not naive enough to believe that. I just want to focus on the quality of our season. I don't believe that anybody can question my commitment to this club. I want to feel that I do well and then the question of me staying will be secondary after that."
Wenger said in July that he had spoken to the chief executive, Ivan Gazidis, about extending – it is believed the club wants him to sign for three years – and the Frenchman has maintained he will commit only if he feels he is getting the maximum out of the players. But Wenger, who has the full support of the majority shareholder, Stan Kroenke, spoke with excitement about what he believes could be a successful period and he referenced the desire to see it through.
"We are resource-wise more competitive, that's for sure," he said. "This is the first year that we have not only not lost a big player but bought a big player [Mesut Özil] so that's what is new for us. What is important is that the level of expectation is high. In recent years, because we have lost players, we had to face a lower level of expectation and that is quite hard for me.
"It's more difficult to raise enthusiasm behind the team because the belief is not completely there. But the fact that the level of expectation is high is a good sign because it means people think you have a good chance."
Wenger talked about how the move to the Emirates Stadium in 2006 had led to a tightening of belts and a brake on talk of the title. Even when the team went close, he felt they lacked the "experience and quality that makes the difference in April." He said he had "worked harder in the last four or five years against scepticism, against players moving out. It was very difficult, much harder than when we were winning trophies."
But he feels the club have now turned a corner, even if he was measured when pressed on the prospect of the championship. Arsenal are top of the Premier League, with 12 points from an available 15, and they travel to Swansea City on Saturday seeking to extend their record run of away victories.
"At the moment, if I tell you we cannot do it, then you will tell me I'm completely stupid," Wenger said. "It will be down to consistency and getting the injured players back, and then I believe we have a good chance. It's the most open season for a while. It's difficult to say and very early. I would like to give it 10 to 12 games and you will know more. Let's see. If we are in April this time competing for the championship, we will be in a much stronger position than the years before."
Wenger has a lengthy injury list and he revealed that Theo Walcott, who underwent abdominal surgery on Wednesday, would "realistically" be out for five weeks, rather than the three that had initially been suggested.