Wenger 'expects' Jens stay
By Tom Adams
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Arsene Wenger is confident Jens Lehmann will sign a new contract with Arsenal soon.
Arsene Wenger has confirmed that he fully expects Jens Lehmann to accept the contract extension on offer from Arsenal and commit himself to the North London club for another season.
The German international's current deal expires at the end of the campaign but Lehmann has already revealed he expects the contractual situation to be resolved in the coming days.
Lehmann has been reluctant to accept just a one-year extension, and The Gunners have seemingly remained steadfast in their refusal to offer lengthy deals to their ageing stars.
As a result, the former Borussia Dortmund keeper has been linked with a return to Germany or a move to Spain as the uncertainty has continued regarding his future.
Lehmann has always underlined he would be happy to remain at Emirates Stadium, and Wenger has now admitted he is confident that such a scenario will be realised.
"I expect him to stay," Wenger told the club's official website.
"It's a bit optimistic to think he'd tell us that he wants to stay [with discussions ongoing] but I expect a decision before the end of April."
After joining The Gunners in the summer of 2003, Lehmann was Wenger's first choice goalkeeper as the club went unbeaten to claim the Premiership title.
The Frenchman has also confirmed he has yet to make a decision over whether to sign Brazilian forward Julio Baptista on a permanent basis from Real Madrid.
"There is nothing decided with Baptista. I will make a decision on that at the end of April," Wenger added.
"The fact that he has not scored recently is down to the team's overall disappointment and that we are a little bit low, less spontaneous in our offensive game and therefore you will suffer in your offensive game."