Massimiliano Allegri is favourite to become the next Arsenal manager with pressure building on Arsene Wenger.
The Frenchman completed 20 years in charge of the Gunners last September but with silverware having been sparse at the club within the last few seasons and no tangible improvement in the team, speculation is increasing that 2016-17 will be his last campaign.
With most of Arsenal’s biggest rivals having top-class, proven managers it means the decision on Wenger’s replacement is a hugely important one with competition for places in the all-important Premier League top four never having been more intense.
Therefore, Allegri would be a highly credible candidate. The Italian succeeded Antonio Conte at Juventus in 2014 and continued the good work of his predecessor, leading the Turin giants to two more Serie A titles and also the Champions League Final at the end of his first season in charge.
The success Conte is enjoying at Chelsea and, of course, Claudio Ranieri’s astonishing title success with Leicester means Italian managers have been having a terrific time of it in England recently.
Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri (Getty Images)
Allegri has been strongly linked with Arsenal in the media and when asked about the speculation he merely said: “I won’t deny or confirm anything.”
The somewhat surprising second favourite, considering his lack of big-club experience, is Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe.
He has taken the Cherries from League One to Premier League consolidation and his free-flowing style of football would suit Arsenal.
But Howe is so far something of a ‘one-club wonder’ who has always been most happy at his spiritual home on the south coast and did not make a huge success of his time in the north at Burnley, where Sean Dyche has subsequently greatly eclipsed the feats of the man he replaced.
Others thought to be in the reckoning are Thomas Tuchel and Leonardo Jardim, who have made a good impression in the Champions League with Borussia Dortmund and Monaco respectively, while Diego Simeone has shown himself to be one of the top coaches in Europe at Atletico Madrid but would be the polar opposite to Wenger in terms of his style of football and personality.
If Arsenal were to turn to someone previously associated with the club, the most likely candidate is thought to be Patrick Vieira who has been gaining managerial experience with New York City FC in MLS.
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