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The Gunners hierarchy face one of the most important decisions in the club’s history this summer in replacing Wenger – and it’s not one chief executive Ivan Gazidis plans to rush.
“The most important thing is to make the right appointment – not a quick one,” he said last week.
“We need to be open-minded and also brave in the decision. Be bold and get the person we believe is the right person.”
Former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique – who won a treble before his contract at the Nou Camp expired in June 2017 – has been the bookmakers’ favourite to land the Arsenal job.
However, according to the Times, those in charge of appointing Wenger’s successor no longer believe the 47-year-old is their man.
It’s understood senior executives at Arsenal consider Enrique an inappropriate fit for the position and are instead looking for “an elegant individual” who matches five specific criteria.
The Times claim the Gunners want their next boss to bring an attacking style of football with a modern approach to tactical preparation and training.
In addition to presenting “the correct public face of the club while placing Arsenal’s long-term ambitions above personal considerations”, they must also facilitate an accessible pathway from the academy to the first-team.
Well, even with such a wide range of demands, Arsenal have pinpointed their next managerial target.
Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri has earned widespread respect for helping his club threaten Juventus’ monopoly of Serie A with a relatively limited budget at his disposal.
Combining possession play with intense pressing, his attractive philosophy has even received public approval from Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola.
Sarri isn’t the complete package, though. He doesn’t speak English and occasionally shows a lack of tact during media conferences.
Perhaps most importantly of all, it’s difficult to predict whether he would abandon his ongoing project at Napoli.
Two other Italians in Carlo Ancelotti and Massimiliano Allegri are thought to be of interest to Arsenal if their pursuit of Sarri fails.
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