Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis has denied reports that Mikel Arteta withdrew his interest in becoming Arsenal’s next manager.
Arteta has been the bookmakers favourite to take the role for a number of weeks, but had reportedly withdrawn from the process after being dissatisfied at the clubs new setup, which would see the manager have very little control over transfers.
However, Gazidis has denied that this is the case in a very long-winded and detailed explanation of how the club came to the decision to appoint Unai Emery as Arsene Wenger’s successor:
“We formed a three man committee, led by me, and supported by Sven Mislintat, our Head of Recruitment, and Raul Sanllehi, our Head of Football Relations. We had some clear criteria that we were looking for in our selection.
“The first was progressive, entertaining football, a personality that fits with Arsenal’s values, and also a record of developing players, particularly young players through detailed tactical instruction, and also through cultural demands, pushing players, demanding more from them.
“We looked through and analysed on the basis that every coach in the world would be interested in this position. We dont believe that there is a position in world football that is more attractive than that at Arsenal Football Club.
“Having gone through that process, and a series of references and a good degree of analysis, we created a long list, an eight person list.
“All of those people that we approached and targeted were interested in the position, and all of those eight people took part in extensive, in-person interviews with the three of us, and none of them, at any stage, withdrew their interest. They were interested right until the moment that we informed them of our decision.
“We were in a fortunate position in this process that we were able to appoint our first choice and that is what we did.”