Departing Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted now is the right time for him to end his 22-year association with the north London club.
Wenger will take charge of Arsenal for the final time when they take on Huddersfield at the John Smith’s Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
However, the Frenchman – who joined the Gunners in September 1996 – has revealed he is already focusing on the future and his life away from the Emirates.
“I need to look forward, I am a guy that does not look back much,” said Wenger in an exclusive interview with Sky Sports. “Everywhere I have worked, I have done that.
“But I need a new project, I need to commit my energy to something else and now I think it is time for me to move away because I am not part of the future any more.
“So the quicker it finishes now, the better it is.
“I have to accept it [his departure from the club], it is part of the process and somebody has to come in now and take care of the future.
“When you are not part of that, it is better that it finishes and you move somewhere else.”
Looking ahead to his 1235th game as Arsenal boss, on the final weekend of the Premier League season, the 68-year-old has admitted it will be an emotional occasion in west Yorkshire.
“I will feel sad, of course, because Arsenal was my life and I never envisaged anything else in my life,” said Wenger.
“Becoming red and white and suffer for every defeat that we had and I will feel very, very, very sad.
“But it is a problem I will have to face and get over it and deal with it as well as I can. And I have to give myself a little bit of time to reflect in myself and where do I want to go from there?”
Wenger hopes to hold back the tears come the full-time whistle at the John Smith’s, although he also knows that will not be easy.
“That is my next challenge,” he said. “If I look back, I would cry, but I will try not to. I will fight against it, but I was very emotional last week and I survived.
“I am a normal human being and I had the privilege to work for 22 years for this club and that is not common.
“So rather than feeling sorry for myself, I should be more grateful for what life has given to me and the privilege I had to do the job I love absolutely passionately for so many years.
“So I should laugh and say thank you very much.”
So what does life after Arsenal look like for Wenger then?
“I have a schedule already, I have to travel to Paris to do some TV work on Monday morning,” he said.
Despite talk of Paris Saint-Germain, the England manager’s job and other possible roles abroad, however, Wenger is not so sure what the future holds though.
“I am really standing in front of a wall and I do not know what I will do, honestly,” he said. “I will just keep fond memories of all the people I worked with.”