Will former captain Mikel Arteta be the man to succeed Arsene Wenger as Arsenal manager?
Arsenal are ‘very close’ to appointing former captain Mikel Arteta as their new manager, according to reports.
The Gunners’ once large shortlist for the man to succeed Arsene Wenger has been whittled down over the past few weeks to just a handful of coaches.
Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri was at one point the leading contender to take over at the Emirates Stadium, but it is now claimed a deal to bring the Italian to London is unlikely, while a potential deal for former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique hit a stumbling block over the Spaniard’s wage demands.
Club legend Patrick Vieira was also linked with the role but the former midfielder, currently head coach at New York City, is no longer thought to be in the running.
Vieira was contacted by Arsenal about the role this week, but the former skipper is said to be ‘disappointed and upset’ by the call, which he apparently branded a ‘token gesture’.
Vieira is now being linked with the manager job at Ligue 1 club Nantes.
And, according to The Independent, Arteta is now the favourite to be named the new Arsenal boss after ‘productive talks’ with his former club.
The 36-year-old has been working as assistant coach to Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, but has not managerial experience.
Arsenal CEO Ivan Gazidis had promised that the club will be ‘bold’ in their search for Wenger’s replacement after 22 years in charge.
Arteta made 149 appearances over five seasons as an Arsenal player and knows how the club operates and the values of the board.
And it is claimed they are ready to hand the reigns to their former captain as they enter this new post-Wenger era.