Spaniard lined up to take Emirates Stadium hot-seat.
Guardiola ready to replace Wenger as Arsenal plan to move manager upstairs
Arsene Wenger’s 16-year reign as Arsenal manager is under increasing pressure after Saturday’s 2-0 FA Cup fifth-round defeat at Sunderland – and the revelation that Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola could replace him in the summer.
Senior sources at Arsenal have indicated that plans are being discussed to move the Frenchman into the boardroom after another season of disappointment looks certain to condemn the club to missing out on a trophy for the seventh year running.
Arsenal are also aware that there is likely to be a limited window in which they could lure Guardiola from Barcelona, while his contract situation there remains uncertain.
The highly-regarded 41-year-old coach will be a free agent at the end of the season and refuses to rule out a move despite pressure from the European champions to sign a new deal.
‘I can’t be at such a demanding club without being certain that I have the strength to do it,’ said Guardiola on Saturday night, in response to questions about a new contract.
‘I still don’t have it clear in mind. When I am sure then the club will know. To renew my contract, I have to feel it. We have been together for four years and the decision needs to be thought out thoroughly.
‘I feel that it is better to have a bit more time. If that is okay then fine, if not then too bad. I have to be true to myself.’
SOURCE: Daily Mail
Now there are a number of questions that arise from this story but perhaps the chief among them would have to revolve around the reasoning behind Pep Guardiola considering such a move. Having helped Barcelona to a shed-load of titles during his three and a half seasons at the Nou Camp helm why would the 41 year old be keen on moving to a club that has now gone some seven seasons without winning a trophy?
Arsene Wenger’s reign as Arsenal boss is being called into question by this source and it seems plausible that he could be moved upstairs if a new manager was being brought in, but would that new manager really be Guardiola?
Guardiola operates on a short term contract basis at Barcelona and a new deal is sure to be on the table but one would question the motivation the Spaniard would have to win trophies he has already won multiple times, that said, such a situation wouldn’t necessarily lead to the former midfielder then opting for a far more difficult and challenging post, as a move to become Gunners boss would undoubtedly entail.
Wenger saw his side crash out of the FA Cup at Sunderland yesterday and was very critical of his team’s performance in Milan on Wednesday when they played limply and lost 4-0 in the first leg of the Champions League encounter. However the North London club does still sit in the top four, just about, and one would imagine that the Arsenal boss’s future may well hinge on a spot in next season’s Champions League.
If he were to fail to secure a top four finish then perhaps his time at the club would come to an end but then not having a seat at the top table of club football would surely also mean that a manager like Guardiola would not be interested in taking the post from the Frenchman?