Arsenal ‘Close In On Arteta’ As New Boss

Gunners Set To Appoint A Younger Man To Top Role

Mikel Arteta Arsenal transfer

Arsenal have earmarked Manchester City coach Mikel Arteta as the replacement for Arsene Wenger. That’s if one newspaper’s report is to be believed today.

The Gunners are now officially manager-less following Arsene Wenger’s departure after their 1-0 victory over Huddersfield Town in the final Premier League game of the season on Sunday. Former Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has been approached about the job but is believed to be demanding £15million a year after tax – a wage that would have made him the highest-paid manager in the Premier League.

Former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti has also been linked as has the Liverpool assistant manager Zeljko Buvac. Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri isn’t interested and says he will sit down with the Serie A club’s board to talk about summer signings. Director of football Raul Sanllehi is believed to have switched his attentions to Allegri when it became obvious that Luis Enrique was no longer a realistic candidate.

But the Daily Mail claims that Arsenal chief executive officer Ivan Gazidis has identified Arteta as the man to succeed Wenger. The report claims that the Spaniard has been approached to take over although it adds that Gazidis and director Josh Kroenke – the son of majority shareholder Stan Kroenke – is also keen on former Gunner Patrick Vieira.

The general feeling is that Gazidis wants to bring in a younger coach. Arteta is 36, Vieira is 41. Arsene Wenger was 47 when he was appointed Arsenal manager in 1996.

Whether the Mail’s story has any truth in it or whether it is mere speculation remains to be seen. Former Gunner Emmanuel Petit believes the job has come up too soon for Vieira and Arteta. But the Spaniard is currently the odds-on favourite with bookmakers.