Although Arsenal still have a chance of qualifying for the Champions League next season if they win the Europa League, it seems that the Gunners board have already decided that this will be Arsene Wenger’s last season at the Emirates.
However, the club are said to be split on who should replace their long serving French coach. According to a report in the Telegraph the three men who will be responsible for picking Wenger’s successor are CEO Ivan Gazidis, Head of Recruitment Sven Mislintat and Head of Football Relations Raul Sanllehi.
The problem is that all three individuals seem to be intent of hiring managers with completely different profiles.
Gazidis is keen on former Arsenal captain Mikel Areta who has impressed as a coach with Manchester City. While he is also a big admirer of more proven candidates like Monaco’s Leonardo Jardim and Celtic’s Brendan Rodgers.
Mislintat, who built a reputation as one of Europes best talent spotters while at Borussia Dortmund, is focusing his search in his native German. He is said to favour two of the Bundesliga’s best young coaches, Hoffenheim’s Julian Nagelsmann and Shalke’s Domenico Tedesco, who are just 30 and 32 respectively.
Sanllehi is keen on recruiting Luis Enrique, who he previously worked with at Barcelona, although Chelsea are also interested in the former Spain international.
Whichever profile of coach Arsenal do finally settle on will be interesting to see. It also remains unclear whether Wenger’s 22 year association with the Gunners will come to an end if a new manager comes in or if the 68-year-old will be given a position on the club’s board.
Arsenal are said to have been concerned that the club may suffer a slump when Wenger leaves, similar to what occurred at Man United when their long serving manger Sir Alex Ferguson left in 2012.
This is why the club appointed the likes of Sanllehi and Mislintat, so that their is a structure in place behind the scenes that will reduce the impact of managerial changes in the future.