Every since Arsenal announced the departure of their long-serving manager Arsene Wenger, speculation has been rife about who will take over. The applicants have varied daily and have included assistant managers, assistant coaches and some of the World’s elite.
It now appears that after a number of meetings, the list of preferred candidates is complete, with Massimiliano Allegri as the established first choice. Antonio Conte is highly regarded and if he were available Arsenal are ready to make their move.
The Gunners hierarchy have kept tabs on the Italians situation at Chelsea for months.
If Roman Abramovich decides to dispense with yet another manager, it may trigger a complicated merry-go-round that may even see Allegri go to Chelsea, whilst Conte heads to the Emirates.
The safe card to both of those options failing is now known to be Carlo Ancelotti, who will take up the managers job if all else fails. This set of circumstances tie in with the end of the season in both Italy and England.
The North London club will now have an uncomfortable wait because the two managers have decided not to discuss their position until the season has concluded. Gazidis was hoping to name the incoming manager within days of Arsene Wenger’s departure but that now looks impossible.
Should Arsenal fail to convince Ancelotti to take the post or he is employed elsewhere in the meantime, the board may have to rely on Sven Mislintat to contact Julian Naglesmann, who is said to be the head of recruitment’s personal first choice.
Mislintat is in agreement with the choice of the other candidates because of their pedigree and although his opinion is highly valued, it appears that Ivan Gazidis has established those on the list. Gazidis is certainly less keen on Mikel Arteta after a number of fans questioned the wisdom of such an appointment.
It’s now understood that the CEO is looking to persuade the former Arsenal Captain to return as an assistant and it could be perfect if he linked up with Ancelloti for three or four seasons before progressing to the manager’s post.
It certainly makes more sense than throwing the Spaniard in at the deep end in the hope that some of the Guardiola Magic has rubbed off. There will be more twists in this saga in the next few weeks and it may be a mini-domino effect that results in the appointment.
Failure to secure a manager from the top candidates available may reflect just how far Arsenal have fallen in terms of stature.
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