Arsene Wenger will leave Arsenal at the end of the season – ending his 22-year tenure in north London.
The Frenchman had another year left on his deal but will leave the club at the end of the campaign.
He announced the news in an emotional letter to the club’s supporters.
“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,” he said.
Arsenal confirmed they will appoint Wenger’s successor “as soon as possible” with the likes of Carlo Ancelotti, Leonardo Jardim and Thomas Tuchel all linked.
Wenger joined Arsenal in 1996 and won three Premier League titles during his time with the club.
He led the famous Invincibles side in the 2003-04 season and also won seven FA Cup titles.
But the Champions League continued to elude the Frenchman, who took Arsenal to the final in 2006 but lost to Barcelona.
At his peak he was involved in some famous tussles with Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United, before a more recent rivalry with Jose Mourinho.
But Wenger’s stature has fallen in recent years amid growing pressure for him to walk away.
There were calls for his departure last summer after missing out on the Champions League but the Frenchman signed a two-year deal at the time, keeping him at the club until the summer of 2019.
This season has been one of disappointment with Arsenal sixth and 14 points adrift of the top four.
Arsenal are into the Europa League semi-finals and should they see off Atletico Madrid, the final on May 16 could see him bow out on a high.
“I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years,” the statement continued.
“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.”
Arsenal’s majority shareholder Stan Kroenke continued the tributes to the Frenchman, who has not indicated he will retire.
“This is one of the most difficult days we have ever had in all our years in sport. One of the main reasons we got involved with Arsenal was because of what Arsène has brought to the club on and off the pitch,” he said.
“His longevity and consistency over such a sustained period at the highest level of the game will never be matched.
“Arsène has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful to him. Everyone who loves Arsenal and everyone who loves football owes him a debt of gratitude.
ThreePremier League titles, including an entire season unbeaten, seven FA Cup triumphs and 20 successive years in the Champions League is an exceptional record.
“He has also transformed the identity of our club and of English football with his vision for how the game can be played.
“We have high ambitions to build on Arsène’s remarkable tenure and to honour his vision by ensuring that Arsenal competes for and wins the biggest and most important prizes in the game.”