The announcement of Arsene Wenger leaving Arsenal was topic of debate considering the time at which the decision was made public. Nonetheless, the Arsenal board has already starting hunting possible replacements for the man who managed the London club for 22 years straight.
Ex-Barcelona boss Luis Enrique and current Atletico boss Diego Simeone are leading the race for Arsenal’s top job. Reportedly, Luis Enrique has told Arsenal he will want a £15million-a-year deal to replace Arsene Wenger at the Emirates, with the Gunners seriously considering breaking their wage structure in order to land him.
Although Arsenal are favorites to sign Enrique, fellow Londoners Chelsea are also desperate to sign Enrique as a replacement for Antonio Conte.
Enrique’s connections with Arsenal’s head of operations Raul Sanllehi from their time together at the Camp Nou are thought to give the Gunners the edge in landing him, although his high wage demands may be problematic for both clubs.
The £15m-a-year deal would see Enrique go level with Jose Mourinho at Manchester United, but stay behind behind Pep Guardiola, who is set to agree a new £20m contract at the Etihad.
Diego Simeone is also highly contentious for the role. Arsenal’s UEFA Europa semi-final clash against Atletico will be anticipated as a perfect send-off for Wenger, whilst being a stage for Diego Simeone to show his class at the Etihad.
Gary Neville suggested that it is indeed Diego Simeone who should replace Wenger at Arsenal.
“I spoke about Diego Simeone as a candidate to replace Arsene Wenger in my podcast and the reaction I got on social media was that his style isn’t the Arsenal way,” Neville told Sky Sports.
“What I would say is Arsenal isn’t defined by Arsene Wenger.
“The last 10 years have been very different to the previous 10 years and if Arsenal feel the football they have to play is the ‘total football way’ then perhaps they’ll go for Luis Enrique, but Simeone is the outstanding candidate in terms of taking on rivals with bigger budgets.”
Arsenal’s ex-players Patrick Viera and Mikel Arteta are also touted to be at the helm of the club next summer. But any manager should come, the club has allotted a strict £50mn spending on transfers in the summer.