HORSE-LOVING Arsene Wenger reckons Arsenal are close to becoming title thoroughbreds once again. 

Ahead of today's crunch top-four scrap at Man United, the Gunners boss revealed he has a passion for the nags - just like his old rival Sir Alex Ferguson.

That, however, is where his similarities with the ex-Old Trafford boss end as Wenger then claimed he prefers to ride horses rather than breed them for racing.

And while on the subject of Fergie, the Frenchman, 65, also reiterated he has no plans to follow him into retirement any time soon.

Not when he finally senses his current crop at The Emirates are on the verge of being genuine contenders for Premier League glory.

Sure, Wenger accepts the statistics between now and 12 months ago do not exactly support that argument.

After all, in 2013-14 the Gunners finished seven points adrift of champions Man City - whereas this season they are likely to end up 11 points behind Chelsea.

Yet, with only two league defeats in 15 games since January 1, Wenger's FA Cup finalists do seem to be finally displaying the sort of consistency required at the summit.

The Arsenal chief, who last won the league 11 years ago, said: "Yes, we are making progress towards a proper title challenge.

"We do have that feeling in the squad.

"But it's still open to question because we're in the chasing group behind Chelsea - and nobody can say how strong we will all be next season.

"It's true Chelsea have made a big leap from last season because they've lost just two games this time. It's a massive improvement.

"But you feel the strength of a team when you play against them - and I feel we'll be able to compete and fight with them next season.

"I think it'll be very tight between us, Chelsea and the other clubs up there now."

Perhaps the greatest concern for Arsenal fans this summer is whether their manager splashes big cash in the transfer market for a third year running.

But he remains guarded on that subject - and defensive at the suggestion his Gunners, two points clear of United with a game in hand, lack a world-class spine.

Wenger added: "That sounds good. It always sounds logical. Who doesn't want a good spine?

"But you have to be careful because if you are extreme with transfers it can upset the balance and cohesion of the side.

"Look at Chelsea. Their defence is very stable.

It has been together for two or three years. That's why they concede less than anybody else."

Make a free website with Yola