Arsenal contact Van Gaal due to Wenger uncertainty

The Gunners regard the Netherlands coach as one of several short-term contingency plans in the event that their manager decides to call time on his 18-year reign next month
By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent

Arsenal have made contact with Louis van Gaal amid ongoing uncertainty over the future of Arsene Wenger, Goal understands.

The Gunners remain confident that Wenger will sign a two-year contract extension agreed last October but know he will quit as manager if the team fail to meet his targets over the next month.

As revealed by Goal, the Frenchman has told friends he is considering bringing an end to his 18-year Gunners reign if they do not win the FA Cup and finish in the top four of the Premier League.

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One of several "short-term" contingency plans being explored by Arsenal is luring Van Gaal to north London when his contract with Holland expires after the World Cup.

Van Gaal has already held talks with a delegation from Manchester United and has had three meetings with Tottenham but it is understood that the Dutchman has rejected the opportunity to replace Tim Sherwood at Spurs at the end of the season.

Van Gaal is now keeping his options open as he awaits developments at both United and Arsenal.

Intriguingly, three of his former backroom staff, all Dutchmen, have recently taken on jobs at the Arsenal academy following a restructuring of the club’s youth set-up.

Andres Jonker, who will replace the retiring Liam Brady as academy director in the summer, worked alongside Van Gaal at Bayern Munich and Barcelona as well as at the Dutch FA.

Jan van Loon, who will manage the Under-16s, and Frans de Kat, who will coach the Under-18, both worked with Van Gaal at the Dutch FA. The Dutch trio will all start on July 1.

Despite considering Van Gaal, losing Wenger would be a huge blow to Arsenal chiefs, who have continued to give the Frenchman their unwavering support.

The results of the last four matches of the season, which culminate in the FA Cup final against Hull City on May 17, are now set to determine whether Wenger formally commits to a deal that would extend his reign to a remarkable 20 years.

There are not expected to be wholesale changes to the backroom team should Wenger make the shock decision to call time on his Arsenal tenure.

Long-standing ally Boro Primorac, fitness coach Tony Colbert and goalkeeping coach Gerry Peyton would be likely to follow Wenger out of the exit door but assistant manager Steve Bould, first-team coach Neil Banfield and the rest of the senior medical and technical staff would be expected to stay on.

All of the senior staff have agreed deals that mirror Wenger’s and run until 2016, while more junior members of Wenger's backroom team are on 12-month rolling contracts. It is understood the agreements are all in place and are waiting on Wenger to be formalsly rubberstamped.