Arsenal could accelerate Mikel Arteta appointment as rivals continue to drop out

  • Arsenal could accelerate Mikel Arteta appointment as rivals continue to drop out

Arsenal could accelerate Mikel Arteta appointment as rivals continue to drop out

It has been reported that Arsenal are on the verge of announcing who will replace Arsene Wenger as their manager, with the club having identified their preferred candidate - a name that may surprise many.

Club legend Patrick Vieira was also linked with the role but the former midfielder, now head coach at New York City, is no longer thought to be in the running.

Arteta finished his playing career at Arsenal in 2016 after a five-year spell at the Emirates Stadium where he scored 14 times in 110 appearances and was quickly named as Guardiola's assistant coach on his appointment at the Etihad Stadium. Not the board, however, who instead are "close" to appointing 36-year-old Arteta.

Despite this belief, Gazidis will interview other candidates, although Sky Sports says that Thierry Henry "has not been contacted about the vacant role".

Arteta who has been Pep Guardiola's right-hand man, assisting the Spaniard to lead Manchester City to the Premier League title is keen on returning to the Emirates after working with Guardiola just two years.

Also out of the running is Hoffenheim's highly-rated young boss Julian Nagelsmann.

Regardless, Pires believes his former teammate remains the ideal candidate to step into Wenger's shoes.

Although the likes of Massimiliano Allegri, Luis Enrique and Patrick Vieira have all been linked with the job, it is beginning to look increasingly likely that Arteta will take over this summer.