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Arnold signs two-year Sydney FC extension

NZN 19/12/2016 Emma Kemp

Graham Arnold has declared he can't imagine coaching anywhere else after signing a two-year A-League contract extension with Sydney FC.

Having been linked to various clubs including Melbourne City, Dutch outfit Roda JC and even expansion hopefuls in Tasmania, Arnold has agreed to remain with the table-topping Sky Blues until 2019.

It will make the 53-year-old the club's longest-serving coach, his five years comfortably eclipsing the three-year stint of Vitezslav Lavicka, who led Sydney to their last title in 2010.

Now in their seventh season without silverware, the former Central Coast championship-winning coach will reinforce his efforts to deliver undefeated Sydney a long-awaited trophy as part of his self-styled bid to turn the club into the Manchester United of the A-League.

"Sydney is my home and Sydney FC is my club," said Arnold, who joined in 2014 and led Sydney to a grand final in his first campaign.

"I'm very happy here and I couldn't imagine coaching anywhere else right now.

"I feel this club has a fantastic vision and a great foundation from which to build and win many trophies.

"We have a fabulous culture among the players and staff."

Arnold gave his strongest hint about where his future lay last week when he praised Sydney's improved facilities and set-up of an academy and spoke optimistically about the club's future.

Sydney chairman Scott Barlow hailed Arnold as the best coach in Australia.

"He's absolutely the right man to continue to take us forward," Barlow said.

"We have had an outstanding start to the season, and this announcement provides us with further stability and continuity as we build towards our goals for this season and beyond."

Arnold's retention is expected to make way for a host of personnel re-signings.

Midfielder Brandon O'Neill re-signed last week, but with around a dozen more players off contract at the end of this campaign the focus now will be locking in the club's host of stars before as their stocks rise with each win.

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