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Ivan Gazidis met with three managers in the search for Arsene Wenger’s successor before the 68-year-old even announced his Arsenal departure, according to information in a recent report.
Goal published a report last month on the managers in line to replace Wenger, but the most interesting part was that Arsenal chief executive Gazidis had already met with some of them.
Whatever the Chief Executive says publicly about the hunt of Wenger’s successor starting now, clearly there’s already been some work done behind the scenes.
Gazidis reportedly met with former Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini last campaign. This fits with other reports from earlier this season, when the Chilean media claimed Arsenal negotiated with the manager before his eventual move to Chinese Super League side Hebei China Fortune. He’s still managing in China today.
Manuel Pellegrini recently spent three seasons with Manchester City, winning the Premier League and two League Cups before he was replaced by Pep Guardiola.
He certainly has experience in England, though he wasn’t always the most popular with fans.
Back in 2016, he addressed a near empty stadium after his final appearance at the Etihad. He refused to blame supporters for that afterwards, but clearly they’d grown apathetic by that point.
I’m not sure he’s therefore the man to inspire and reunite the Arsenal fanbase. Then again, I personally wouldn’t have predicted a man managing Nagoya Grampus Eight to achieve the success Wenger did here.