Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis could be one of the most important figures in choosing Arsene Wenger’s replacement and has a controversial choice for the role.
According to Sky Sports, Gazidis’ preferred option is Manchester City coach Mikel Arteta, who played for and captained the Gunners during the final years of his professional career.
Arteta then moved to join Pep Guardiola’s coaching team at City and is highly rated as a progressive and innovative coach with a great degree of potential.
Earlier in the season it was reported by the Daily Mirror that Wenger himself would be keen on Arteta coming in as his successor, and it could be that the club will now be heading in that direction.
Sky Sports claims talks with candidates will begin this week and that somewhat rogue names being thrown about – Brendan Rodgers and Rafael Benitez – are not strong contenders for the job.
Instead, former Barcelona boss Luis Enrique is the preferred choice of head of football operations Raul Sanllehi, while head of recruitment Sven Mislintat is keen on Hoffenheim boss Julian Nagelsmann and Schalke’s Domenico Tedesco.
Is Mikel Arteta ready for the Arsenal job?
Arteta’s lack of managerial experience surely has to count against him here as such a huge, high-pressure job of rebuilding a top club with increasingly impatient and frustrated fans.
The latter half of the Wenger era has not gone to plan at all, with no league title since 2004 and the lack of financial muscle to truly compete with the likes of Manchester United, City and Chelsea.
Arteta may well have plenty to offer on the training pitch, but it seems far too early for the Spaniard to be walking into a job where he’d be right in the spotlight and may not get much time to put his vision into place.
Like with names such as Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira being linked with the job, Arteta has to be considered one for the future, with this next appointment absolutely crucial for Arsenal as they don’t want to repeat the mistakes of Manchester United after the retirement of the long-serving, legendary Sir Alex Ferguson.