'I want him to stay' - Wenger should choose when he leaves Arsenal, says Gilberto

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The under-pressure Frenchman remains the right man to take charge of the Gunners, says the Premier League-winner

Former Arsenal favourite Gilberto Silva says Arsene Wenger has earned the right to decide when his reign at the club will end.

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Wenger's future has been a hot topic at the Emirates Stadium this season, with the Frenchman's current contract winding down at the end of the campaign. Widespread reports suggest that the manager intends to sign a two-year extension offered by Arsenal's board.

Sunday's 2-0 win over Manchester United boosted their faint top-four hopes, while Wenger has a seventh FA Cup title in his sights ahead of a Wembley showdown with Premier League champions-elect Chelsea.

And Gilberto, who won the FA Cup twice as well as the Premier League as part of the 'Invincibles' of 2003-04, lamented recent treatment of Wenger, who has faced fan backlash over perceived stagnation under his charge.

The World Cup-winning former Brazil international told Omnisport : "I hope the best can happen, for him and for the club.

"It's sad to see how some people have been treating him, like throwing him out of the club, after more than 20 years that he has been working for the club and for English soccer.

"It would be nice, from the moment that he decides to leave, that it is a common decision between the club and him.

"And that it can be made in a way that he really deserves."

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Asked for his opinion on the matter, Gilberto said: "I want him to stay."

Sixth-placed Arsenal are six points adrift of Manchester City in fourth, with a game in hand to come at Southampton on Wednesday.

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