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The Arsenal board drew up a five-strong shortlist to send to Stan Kroenke in the event of Arsene Wenger’s departure, according to reliable BBC journalist David Ornstein.
Ornstein wrote on the BBC website that even some of the club’s most important staff didn’t know anything about Wenger leaving until Thursday evening. However, plans “were tentatively being put in place”, with a shortlist prepared for this eventuality.
Now, they need to put the list into action, and make a decision before the end of the campaign.
Currently we don’t know the exact five names, but Ornstein has narrowed it down to eight. Here are those eight managers:
Allegri is currently the manager of Juventus, but he admitted previously that he wants to move abroad when he leaves the Old Lady.
The media have linked him with Arsenal and Chelsea a lot in the past. Allegri may, however, find the stability on offer at Arsenal a far more attractive proposition than moving to a club that likes to sack managers the season after they win the Premier League.
PSG are also interested in signing the manager to replace Unai Emery, who is expected to be sacked at the end of the season. Recently though, the French side seem to be turning to former Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel.
Allegri, 50, has had a lot of success in Italy in recent years. He led Milan to a Serie A title and a Supercoppa Italiana in 2011. Then he joined Juventus and won three Serie A titles, three Coppa Italias, one Suppercoppa Italiana and reached the Champions League final twice. There could be more to come before this season is up as well.
If he could achieve anything like that with Arsenal, he’d be a massive success.
The media claimed this month that Arsenal are in ‘pole position’ to land Luis Enrique this summer.
Mundo Deportivo wrote that “the presence of Raül Sanllehí…would facilitate the possible incorporation of the Spaniard, who is without a team but has no lack of suitors.”
Enrique was also considered by PSG and held a meeting with their president, Nasser Al-Khelaifi in Doha recently. He is also being considered by Naples and Juventus.
Speaking recently, Enrique told Ibon Zugasti, the former Spanish cyclist, he has not yet been tempted by a new job. “It will depend on someone loving me, but it has to be something that really excites me,” he added.
Enrique won all there is to win with Barcelona. La Liga (twice), Copa del Rey (three times), Supercopa de Espana, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup, despite only spending three years at the club. Clearly he’s another manager with a lot of experience winning things at the top level.
Certainly the youngest name on this list, Nagelsmann is only 30 years old, but already has a couple of years managing Hoffenheim behind him. According to the Daily Mail in March, Arsenal were keeping an eye on him this season.
The young German, who used to play for FC Augsburg II and 1860 Munich II over a decade ago, has only ever coached the Bundesliga team. Whilst he did help them finish in a Champions League qualifier spot for the first time in their history last term, he’s still really inexperienced.
What’s more, Nagelsmann has been referred to as a ‘mini-Mourinho’, which is terrifying enough.
I don’t think he’s necessarily the most likely candidate on this list, since you’d expect Arsenal to go for someone a bit more experienced for this transition.
Then again, who would’ve guessed they’d go for Arsene Wenger 22 years ago? Ornstein points out the Nagelsmann knows Mislintat from their time in Germany, so we’ll have to wait and see how this one pans out.
For many, Ancelotti is the safe choice for Arsenal.
The 58-year-old has a massive amount of experience, having managed Juventus, Milan, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.
The Italian manager has also been very successful in picking up trophies. He lifted at least one with all of the above clubs, including the Champions League on three different occasions.
He also won the league with four of his last five clubs, only failing to do so with Madrid.
The Gunners have already lost more games this season than Ancelotti lost in his entire spell with Bayern Munich. Although, in fairness, that isn’t saying much.
The Daily Mail write that Vieira is ‘a serious contender’ to return to the club as manager.
Vieira himself is still managing MLS side New York City FC at the moment. His team are top of the table and unbeaten in the early part of the new season. The 41-year-old also has some experience of management in England, having taken charge of the Manchester City Reserves for a couple of years after his retirement from playing.
Of course, the main reason why a fair number of Arsenal fans get excited by links to Vieira is his success on the pitch with the club. As captain of the side, the former midfielder led the team through the invincible season. He won three Premier League titles, three FA Cups and three Community Shields in London.
If he could bring anything like that kind of success back, he’d be a big success.