Mikel Arteta is on the verge of being appointed the new manager of Arsenal with the squad already informed of his probably arrival, according to reports. Arsene Wenger brought down the curtain on his 22-year reign with the north London club at the end of the season and the search has been underway to find a replacement for the long-serving French manager. Although Arsenal had targeted several experienced names – such as Juventus boss Max Allegri and former Barcelona coach Luis Enrique – Arteta has nudged ahead in their thinking.
And now the Daily Mail report that Arsenal have informed the squad that Arteta is ‘90% certain’ to replace Wenger. The Spaniard is the preferred choice of both Ivan Gazidis and Josh Kroenke, son of owner Stan, and the club are now preparing to fast-track his appointment.
Although Arsenal’s board had only set a deadline of the World Cup to find a new manager, the Daily Mail claim Arteta’s arrival could be ratified by the end of the week. The hastiness of Arteta’s arrival owes much to the dearth of genuine competition for the role, with Enrique’s wage demands too high and Allegri inclined to stay at Juventus, with the Italian also wanting more control over transfers than Arsenal were prepared to allow.
Head of football relations Raul Sanllehi would have preferred Enrique, while Sven Mislintat’s choice of Julian Nagelsmann will not be allowed to leave Hoffenheim in the summer. Arteta is keen to take over the reins at Arsenal and is already thinking about his backroom team, with Gunners midfielder Santi Cazorla in consideration to be given an assistant role and a player-coach contract.