Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will be leaving the club this summer, ending his 22-year association with the club, the Frenchman announced on Friday.

The 68-year-old’s position has come under intense scrutiny over the past 18 months due to repeated failings in the Premier League and Champions League.

The Frenchman has lifted the FA Cup in three of the last four seasons but that has not been enough to appease some supporters and Wenger, whose side are set to compete against Atletico Madrid in the Europa League semi-finals next week, confirmed his decision to step down on Friday morning.

In a statement released by the club, Wenger confirmed his decision, saying that he feels the time is now right for him to hand over the reins to someone else.

“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. 

“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.

“My love and support for ever.”

Patrick Vieira will be the immediate favourite to succeed Wenger and the Arsenal boss appears to have already given his former captain his blessing to manage the club.

Reports yesterday claimed the 41-year-old New York City boss has been lined up to replace Wenger.