Mikel Arteta firmly in Arsenal mix

Arsenal look increasingly likely to go for a younger, up-and-coming coach rather than a big name to replace Arsene Wenger.

A host of names have been linked with the role, with big names to relative unknowns – as the Arsenal board consider all options with chief executive Ivan Gazidis, head of football relations Raul Sanllehi and head of recruitment Sven Mislintat conducting the search.

High profile names like Luis Enrique, Max Allegri and Carlo Ancelotti have been considered, but it seems wages together with expected transfer budget could see Arsenal go in another direction.

Now Manchester City coach and former Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta is the new favourite, whilst Liverpool number two Zeljko Buvac, Hoffenheim boss Julian Julian Nagelsmann and Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira – now in charge of New York City are also strongly linked.

With news that Arteta is attracting the interest of Arsenal, Pep Guardiola admits he would be loathed to lose him but admits there is interest in him.

“If he stays I will be the happiest guy in the world and if he decides to move because he has this offer, this option, I will not say you do not have to go. I want the best for my friends and he’s a friend of mine,” he said.

Arteta has now been cut to 6/4 favourite after news emerged of Arsenal’s interest.

Betway’s Alan Alger said: “Despite not having any first-team managerial experience, Mikel Arteta is the one we’ve seen strong support for in the vacant Arsenal manager’s market.

“Pep Guardiola’s assistant at Manchester City has been backed into the 6/4 favourite for the job having been as big as 14/1 a few days ago, ahead of the long-time market leader Max Allegri, who is now 5/2.

“Luis Enrique, who has long been linked with the position, is out to 9/1 while Rui Faria, who recently announced his departure from Manchester United, is 10/1 to start his managerial career at the Emirates.”

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