Arsene Wenger to leave Arsenal: Who will replace him?
After over 21 years and 10 trophies, Arsene Wenger's reign at Arsenal will finish at the end of the season. The search now begins for his successor and here are the best of the potential candidates to take on one of the biggest jobs in football.
Patrick Vieira - New York City FC (4/1 with bet365)
One of Arsenal's favourite sons, the old marauding defensive midfielder was one of the key protagonists under Wenger, a cog in their 'Invincibles' team. Now at New York City FC, Vieira said back in March he would be interested in coaching Arsenal "one day", but at the time would not elaborate further out of respect for his former boss.
As chance had it, Wenger was talking about Vieira's potential as a future Arsenal manager on Thursday, and said: "He's a guy who has the potential one day, yes. "I think he does very well. But overall, after that, this Premier League is special, you know. You have to come in. There are plenty of former players who played here who have potential and the intelligence and the knowledge to do it. So there's plenty of choice, don't worry for that."
Vieira would be popular choice among the club's fans but his lack of managerial experience could count against him -- his only other role was at Manchester City's reserves -- despite being the bookies' favourite to take over at Arsenal.
Thomas Tuchel - no club (5/1)
The former Borussia Dortmund manager has been strongly linked with taking over from Unai Emery at Paris Saint Germain, but he has also been frequently mentioned as a potential successor to Wenger.
His playing style is resolute, favouring an approach where his side builds from the back in a manner not different to his predecessor at Dortmund, Jurgen Klopp. If he did get the job at Arsenal, then he would link up again with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who both played under him at Dortmund. Both flourished under him but Arsenal will have to act quickly if they are to keep PSG's reported interest at bay.
Leonardo Jardim (8/1) - AS Monaco
At Monaco, Jardim has succeeded in implementing the same blueprint Wenger tried to perfect for many years: building a title-winning team by developing young talent while playing an attractive brand of football. Granted, Jardim hasn't quite managed to replicate last season's title-winning triumphs, but given the players he lost last summer (including star man Kylian Mbappe) it's still impressive to sit second in Ligue 1.
At 43, Jardim is still young enough to bring a new level of energy to the club, while experienced enough to back that up with authority. And perhaps he could also bring Arsenal target Thomas Lemar with him.
Max Allegri - Juventus (10/1)
Allegri was widely tipped as the No. 1 candidate for Arsenal last summer had Wenger not been given a new contract. And given Antonio Conte's immediate success at Chelsea, it would be interesting to see if Allegri could have a similar impact if he moved from Juventus to the Premier League.
His emphasis on a solid defence would be a big departure from Wenger's traditional approach, but it is also sorely needed at the club.
Joachim Low - Germany (5/1)
Low led Germany to win the World Cup in 2014 and will try to repeat that feat this summer, but he would still be a surprising choice given that he has never managed a top club.
After leading Stuttgart to the Cup Winners' Cup final in 1998, he had stints in Turkey and Austria before joining the national team set-up in 2004. He might be a popular choice among Arsenal's German-speaking contingent -- and especially Mesut Ozil -- but he is totally untested when it comes to delivering a top league title.
Diego Simeone - Atletico Madrid (20/1)
Arsenal's Europa League semifinal opponents have the much-coveted Diego Simeone at the helm, who back in September signed a new contract with the La Liga side until 2020. Simeone guided the club -- which has far less financial muscle than Barcelona and Real Madrid -- to the 2013-14 league title and to two Champions League finals, alongside winning the Europa League in 2012.
His side's defence has conceded the fewest goals in four of the last five La Liga seasons. His passion for the Atletico job seems unwavering, but Arsenal could prove to be an attractive project for the Argentinean.
Luis Enrique - no club (25/1)
With Roma, Celta Vigo and Barcelona on his coaching resume, Luis Enrique boasts the big club experience which could be essential if the Arsenal board want Wenger's successor to hit the ground running.
His Roma spell was underwhelming but his work at Celta Vigo, where he guided them to ninth in the league, caught the eye of Barcelona who he joined in May 2014, replacing Gerardo Martino. He steered the Catalan giants to two La Liga titles, a trio of Copa del Rey triumphs and the 2015 Champions League, beating Juventus 3-1 in the final, before leaving at the end of his three-year deal in June 2017. Since then he has stayed under the radar but is forever linked with managerial vacancies.
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Brendan Rodgers - Celtic (8/1)
Rodgers would be an even more surprising choice than Low, especially since Arsenal should be able to choose from the top managers around Europe. True, Rodgers nearly led Liverpool to the Premier League title in 2014, and he mimicked Arsenal's "Invincibles" by leading Celtic to an unbeaten season last year. But there's still a feeling that Rodgers' career has stalled, while there are plenty of others whose star is on the rise.
Carlo Ancelotti - no club (6/1)
The Italian veteran is widely seen as the safe choice for Arsenal, especially if they want someone to come in and run the ship with a steady hand during the inevitable transition period after Wenger's departure.
Ancelotti has won titles everywhere he's gone and owns one of the most impressive managerial records in football. He's not young, but at 58 he still has a good decade left in him at the top level. Of the people on this list, he's the closest thing to a guarantee that Arsenal will at least be a regular contender for a top-four spot. And perhaps best of all: he's available and wouldn't require prising away from any club.
Mikel Arteta - Manchester City (10/1)
The former Everton and Arsenal midfielder is learning his trade as assistant coach under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City while also offering feedback to the title-winning manager. Reports last month suggested Wenger was keen on Arteta to be in the mix to replace him after the Spaniard spent five seasons at Arsenal, captaining them for the final two campaigns.