Arsenal assistant manager Pat Rice to leave at end of the season – report

Arsene Wenger could be forced into finding himself a new assistant manager as speculation grows that his long-serving No.2 will retire at the end of this season

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Arsenal assistant manager Pat Rice could retire at the end of season when his current contract expires.

Irishman Rice has been part of the coaching set-up at Arsenal since 1984 and Wenger could be forced into finding a new assistant for the first time since arriving at the club in 1996.

Former Gunners captain Rice's existing deal runs out in the summer and Wenger has so far failed to persuade him to sign an extension at the club where he made 528 appearances and won the Double as a player before going on to be involved with two more Double-winning sides on the coaching staff.

The Daily Express reports that Wenger is already considering finding a replacement for Rice.

The newspaper claims he may offer former player and current Academy coach Steve Bould the opportunity to step up if Rice decides to leave.

The Frenchman is also thought to be considering one of his former players, Dragan Stojkovic, who is currently in charge of Japanese side Grampus Eight, as well as Patrick Viera who is considering retirement from playing at the end of the season.

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