Ever since he announced his resignation, one of the biggest questions in the world of football has been who will replace Arsene Wenger as the manager of Arsenal.
There have been many names linked with the now vacant job at the Emirates, with Brendan Rodgers, Luis Enrique and Max Allegri all being frontrunners at one stage or another.
There have been other, lesser known names linked with replacing the Frenchman, including former Liverpool assistant manager Zeljko Buvac and Manchester United assistant Rui Faria, who recently announced he will be stepping down from his current role at Old Trafford.
Rodgers and Allegri have ruled themselves out of a move to the Emirates in recent weeks, while Luis Enrique’s wage demands are thought to be a particular sticking point.
While Gary Neville has recently called Arsenal’s search for Wenger’s successor as ‘a right mess’, reports today suggest there is a new favourite to succeed the iconic Frenchman – former captain Mikel Arteta.
Sky Sports are reporting that chief executive Ivan Gazidis is looking to appoint a head coach, rather than a manager, and it is thought that Arteta would be ideal to fill such a role.
The Spaniard has been working under Pep Guardiola at Premier League champions Manchester City for the last year, although he has no other management experience.
Gazidis is thought to not be phased by making a bold appointment, by putting a previously untested manager in charge. He is keen for his side to continue playing a progressive and attractive brand of football, while continuing to bring through youngsters, just like Wenger has done for the last 22 years.
If Arteta were to be appointed by the Gunners, he would become a key part of a management team to work alongside head of recruitment Sven Mislintat, who recently joined the club from Borussia Dortmund. He would also be free to bring in his own backroom staff.
While Gazidis is happy to take his time in appointing a new boss, he is keen to make such an appointment before the World Cup kicks off in one months time.