There are fears over the health of Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger after a young fan approached him following the teams 2-1 away defeat against Bournemouth on Sunday and the French boss was apparently unable to sign his own name on a copy of the match day programme.

According to witnesses, Wenger was about to make contact with a pen on the glossy cover when he came over in a cold sweat and had to sit down.

One onlooker said: ‘He was making his way back to the Arsenal team coach, when suddenly a young boy ran out and asked for his autograph.’

‘At first he was happy to oblige, but just as he was about to sign the programme he got a glazed look in his eye and he started adjusting his collar like he was having trouble breathing.’

‘He was then heard muttering something about financial stability and a lack of value in the market before he had to be steadied on his feet by the kit manager.’

‘The boy was left disappointed and paramedics helped to treat Arsène’s hyperventilation with a brown paper bag, and as soon as an administrative member of staff showed him copies of the club’s bank statements over the last three months his breathing and pulse rate returned to normal.’

A club source said: ‘This is why Arsenal normally go for free transfers or those that require an undisclosed fee as these can just be signed off by Doris, the lady who makes the tea.’

‘She will only be around until the end of January as she handed in her notice when the club refused her request for £8.50 an hour.’

A spokesperson for London rivals West Ham United said: ‘Our board of directors suffer from a similar condition, but they get around this when contracts are prepared by smearing their foreheads with ink and headbutting the paper repeatedly while making grunting noises.’