Arsenal are beginning their first managerial hunt in 22 years after announcing that Arsene Wenger will step down at the end of the season.
Chief executive Ivan Gazidis has vowed that the Gunners will be “bold” in appointing a successor to Wenger and will take as much time as necessary to get the right man.
But who could Arsenal turn to after Wenger’s trophy-laden two decades at the helm? Here are six contenders:
Reports in the UK are already indicating that former Barcelona manager Enrique is at the top of Arsenal’s hitlist. There was speculation earlier this season that Enrique is also under consideration by Chelsea, if, as expected, Antonio Conte is axed at Stamford Bridge. It would be understandable if the two London clubs battle hard to snare the former Spanish international. Enrique won La Liga twice and lifted the Champions League before leaving the Nou Camp last summer at the end of his contract.
If Arsenal are looking for a manager with a track record of success, then few boast a better record than the Juventus manager. Allegri is on course to win his fourth successive title with Juventus after previously winning Serie A with AC Milan, while he has also taken the Turin club to two Champions League finals. He has indicated that he wants to manage outside of Italy when he eventually leaves Juventus.
The former Chelsea, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich boss has already indicated that he would be willing to succeed Wenger, if the opportunity arose. Within hours of the announcement of Wenger’s exit, Ancelotti said: “If they were interested, it would give me pleasure.” Ancelotti is available, lives in London, has experience of winning the Premier League and would not be daunted at the prospect of succeeding such a dominant figure as Wenger.
Low doesn’t boast a record at club level that can compare to an Ancelotti, Enrique or Allegri, but he has built a successful dynasty with Germany. He is by far the most notable current international manager after steering Germany to World Cup glory. Perhaps Low would be interested in a fresh challenge after this summer’s World Cup.
Rodgers has rebuilt his reputation in Scotland, with the former Liverpool manager on course to win the domestic treble for the second season in a row at Celtic. While his spell at Anfield ended on a sour note, he came desperately close to winning the Premier League in 2013-14. At 41, Rodgers is still young enough to create a dynasty akin to Wenger’s and favours the attractive style practised by Arsenal.
Thank you for everything pic.twitter.com/FT5rDt5Hzt
— Patrick Vieira (@OfficialVieira) April 20, 2018
Several former Arsenal players have already been linked with the job, including Thierry Henry and Mikel Arteta. But Invincibles captain Patrick Vieira looks the strongest candidate after two-and-a-half years in charge at MLS club NYCFC. Wenger said earlier this week that he expects Vieira to one day manage Arsenal. The question will be whether he has enough experience at this stage of his career.