Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is likely to sign a new two-year contract to stay at the Emirates, with his current deal out at the end of the season, but tabloid reports suggest the Frenchman is already lining up his successor.
The 64-year-old has had the advantage and luxury of seeing Manchester United dramatical fall from grace since his former counterpart Sir Alex Ferguson retire after a quarter century spell. Wenger will not want to make the same mistakes.
He will be more cautious to not let all the hard work he has done in 18 years at the club go to waste, and here are Coral’s five possible replacements when he does decide to eventually retire. Back the Gunners, meanwhile, at 22/1 to win the Premier League.
The Spaniard has won silverware more recently than Wenger with now-Championship side Wigan Athletic by remarkably triumphing in last season’s FA Cup final. He has since moved on to Everton and dramatically changed the style of the club – formally with David Moyes in charge – with success.
The Toffees are currently seventh in the league but, with a game in hand on United and two on Spurs, they could be up in fifth if they win those. That would then leave them still within touching distance of a top four spot, and are an outside chance at 16/1 to achieve that feat.
Wenger would certainly approve of Martinez’s attacking style and was recently quoted as saying that the 40-year-old “has done remarkably well” at his new club.
Frank de Boer and Dennis Bergkamp
This Ajax duo (manager and assistant respectively) have formed an unstoppable team in their home country of the Netherlands, winning the last three Eredivisie titles – Bergkamp was assistant just for the previous two.
Spurs and Liverpool had both been linked with bringing the pair to England in the past, but with no success. However, with Bergkamp’s strong links with the red half of north London, his combination with De Boer would be a dream for Arsenal fans to see their former idol return.
Much-touted with a move to Man Utd as a possible successor to Moyes, if the club were to finally lose patience with the Scot, Klopp would also be seen as a fantastic replacement for Wenger.
The eccentric German has carved out a fantastic reputation in the years since taking over at Borussia Dortmund in 2008 by winning two Bundesliga titles and getting to the Champions League final against the odds.
Klopp has previously stated his admiration for Wenger, although he did say that football style differs with the Frenchman. “He likes having the ball, playing football, passes… it’s like an orchestra,” he said “but it is a silent song. I like heavy metal more. I always want it loud.”
Recently sacked by Swansea, Laudrup does favour the Arsenal-style of football. The Dane is another on this list with a trophy more recent than Wenger’s FA Cup in 2005, winning the League Cup last season with the Welsh side.
Arsenal will be wanting a manager for the long-haul, however, and in Laudrup’s last four clubs as boss, he has stayed just one or two seasons.
Montella, 39, is certainly a manager for the future. He is now in his second season with Italian side Fiorentina and has led them to fourth place in the league so far this term – ahead of the likes of Inter and AC Milan.
In the campaign before the former Fulham loan player took over at the Florence club, the side finished in 15th, and the year after that finished in fourth. Montella has won 57.5 per cent of his matches since taking over and would be a good option for the Gunners.