With the veteran French trainer now likely to leave the Emirates come the end of the campaign, the north London club have already compiled a list of suitable candidates to take over from le Professeur in the capital this summer.
Arsenal are understood to have already started preparing for life without experienced head coach Arsene Wenger at the Emirates next season, with the word now coming out of the north London club indicating that the Frenchman is set to finally call it quits in the capital this summer.
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For months now, stretching all the way back to November, the Gunners have been confidently briefing journalists that Wenger was on the verge of finally putting pen to paper on a new two-year contract at the club, with the 64-year-old’s current deal set to run out at the end of this campaign.
However, as yet there is still no sign of that announcement, despite Wenger’s insistence just last week that he would be keeping his word by agreeing to extend his near 20-year stay in north London.
“I told you many times that my commitment is not questionable, and I have given my word,” Wenger said. “I always respect my word – it’s as simple as that.”
But asked whether that meant he was staying, Wenger replied: “Yes, unless I decide otherwise.”
And now it is believed that chief executive Ivan Gazidis has already begun the painful and near-on impossible process of trying to recruit a suitable replacement for Wenger next season, with the American administrator having compiled a three-man short list.
Incredibly, top of the Gunners targets is said to be former captain Patrick Vieira, who is currently developing a huge reputation as the coach of the Manchester City Under-21 team.
However, Gazidis recognises that being able to lure the inexperienced Frenchman back to north London next season as a replacement for Wenger is no guarantee, especially with Serie A giants Inter Milan also understood to be keen on recruiting their 37-year-old former holding midfielder as well for next season.
And that is why Arsenal also have two other possible candidates to call upon should their former captain reject their advances, with the names of Borussia Dortmund’s highly rated young coach Jurgen Klopp as well as new Everton boss Roberto Martinez also said to featuring prominently in Gazidis’s thoughts at present.