Cape Town - Arsene Wenger has allegedly informed his Arsenal players that he intends to leave the club at the end of the current English Premiership campaign, according to reports.
According to a BeIN report, Wenger decided to inform his players of his decision three weeks ago, shortly after a humiliating 5-1 defeat to Bayern Munich in the first-leg of the Champions League Round of 16 stage.
The Frenchman's decision is believed to not be related to recent reports of a bust-up with star player Alexis Sanchez, with a lucrative two-year contract extension already on offer by the Arsenal board.
Meanwhile, former Arsenal midfielder Gilberto Silva believes it's time for Wenger to pack it in and make way for a new manager with fresh ideas.
Silva played under Wenger for six years and was part of the "Invincibles" of 2003/04, and he thinks the injection of motivated young managers into the Premier League has made it difficult for the Frenchman to keep up.
It is claimed though that some players are fiercely loyal to Wenger and could force a move away from the London based club if Wenger leaves. Stan Kroenke is also a huge admirer and could yet still convince the Frenchman to stay.
Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri, who has been touted as a possible replacement has categorically denied he is in line to replace Wenger as manager of Arsenal next season.
Speculation regarding the future of the Gunners boss was increasing on an almost daily basis with fan unrest at a high after a succession of disappointing results.
Wenger is by far the longest serving manager in the Premier League currently, but has just three months remaining on his contract with the Gunners and a string of poor results has left a dark cloud hanging over his future at the club.