Multiple reports claim that Arsenal are lining up potential successors for Arsene Wenger if the Frenchman decides to leave the Emirates Stadium this summer.
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Wenger, 67, revealed last weekend that he has been offered a two-year extension to stay on.
However, with criticism mounting on his side as they slipped 12 point behind leaders Chelsea to all but end their hopes of winning the Premier League for yet another season, maybe Wenger will simply walk away.
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If so, Atletico Madrid’s Diego Simeone and Juventus’ Massimiliano Allegri have both been linked with being offered the Arsenal job, but now we have a new name.
The Daily Mirror reports that current Borussia Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel is the front-runner lined up Arsenal to take over, plus Bayer Leverkusen’s Roger Schmidt and Monaco’s Leonardo Jardim are also in the running.
However when asked about the speculation on Friday, Tuchel played it cool.
“Arsenal rumors? I can’t say anything about that because I don’t know anything about it,” Tuchel said. “I’m on a contract with Dortmund and I’m happy here.”
Tuchel has just over 12 months left on his current contract and will not meet with Dortmund’s directors until the end of the current season to discuss a possible extension.
Dortmund currently sit in fourth place in the Bundesliga, 12 points behind leaders Bayern Munich (cue jokes about Tuchel being “perfect” for Arsenal) and although he’s cultivated a young, exciting team to watch with teenagers Christian Pulisic, Ousmane Dembele and Emre Mor coming through, Tuchel has seen his side fall behind Bayern, RB Leipzig and Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga table.
According to reports, Dortmund are looking at Hoffenheim’s 29-year-old manager Julian Nagelsmann to possibly replace Tuchel in the summer.
For Arsenal, it seems highly likely that Wenger will remain in charge but it would also be rather odd for them not to be drawing up a shortlist of possible contenders should the Gunners get knocked out of the FA Cup and UEFA Champions League in embarrassing fashion and suffer a collapse in the Premier League over the final few months of the season.
That would lead to Wenger perhaps walking away altogether.
Look, Arsenal is an incredibly attractive proposition for any coach. You get to live in London. Work in the Premier League. Coach star names like Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez. Plus, it is a well run club which has money to spend on top quality players and will likely have UCL action to offer.
Still, it seems like apart from Simeone and Allegri, the names on the shortlist to replace Wenger are a little underwhelming.
Perhaps that’s exactly why he’s been offered a two-year extension to stay on…