Arsenal fear manager Arsene Wenger could quit at the end of the season, with sources close to the Gunners boss insisting his signing of a new contract is far from certain.
Both Wenger and the club are publicly insisting that it is only a matter of time before a new deal is agreed.
But a source close to the club and Wenger has stated that a new deal is far from 'cut and dried' and is not just a matter of timing.
Arsenal are desperate for Wenger to sign a new deal - even if they don't break the clubs nine year trophy drought this season.
It is understood that the Gunners' directors have seen the turmoil a club can get into when a long term manager leaves, Sir Alex Ferguson retiring from Manchester United for example, and will not sack Wenger under any circumstances.
The club are planning contingency plans if Wenger decides to leave come the summer - with Athletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone a serious contender along with Borussia Dortmund's Jurgen Klopp.
The uncertainty is not to do with personal terms or the length of the contract, nor is Wenger planning to join another club - even though Wenger would be a leading candidate for a job at Barcelona or Paris Saint Germain.
Arsenal's 6-0 defeat to Chelsea last weekend, which was Wenger's 1,000th game in charge, is said to have hit him hard and he has told associates that he wants to remain certain he is the right man to take the club forward.