Former Arsenal Captain likely to Replace Wenger at the Emirates
Mikel Arteta’s hopes of replacing Wenger as Arsenal manager has received two major boosts on Sunday night after Max Allegri said that he wanted to stay with Juventus and Pep Guardiola promised not to stand in his assistant’s way.
The former Arsenal captain who has been working as Guardiola’s assistant at City since retiring two years ago and features prominently on an Arsenal shortlist that also includes Allegri, Patrick Vieira and Hoffenheim manager Julian Nagelsmann.
Allegri is clearly the outstanding candidate in terms of his recent track-record, with him last night leading Juventus to a fourth straight Italian league and cup double after also twice reaching the Champions League final in that time.
Arsenal is interested in talking with him but, asked on Sunday night about his future, Allegri said: “If they don’t sack me, I’ll stay at Juventus next year too.”
Allegri has one year remaining on his contract and, while keen to eventually work in England, both the timing and Arsenal’s lack of Champions League football are potential obstacles.
Arteta since December has been rumoured as Wenger’s replacement and Guardiola last night also delivered a ringing endorsement of his influence on a Manchester City team that became the first in English top-flight history to reach 100 points.
“Mikel’s contribution was outstanding, amazing,” said Guardiola. “We were together so good, all the staff, so if he stays I will be happiest guy in the world. If he decides to move because he has this offer, this option, I will not say you don’t have to go.
“I want the best for my friends, and he’s a friend of mine, and I want the best. If he decide to go, I will be so sad, but I will understand his decision, because it’s his career, his life, his family, and I am not the right guy to say you don’t have to do that. But hopefully hopefully he can stay and finish what we have started together in the coming years.”
Arsenal has been internally reducing their list of potential candidates but wants to conduct a full interview process and intend to make their appointment by at least the start of the World Cup next month. Chief executive Ivan Gazidis is leading the search with support from the head of recruitment Sven Mislintat and head of football relations Raul Sanllehi but the final decision with be made by majority owner Stan Kroenke and his son Josh.