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Luis Enrique is one of a number of coaches that Arsenal have made informal contact with as they look to replace Arsene Wenger.
The Spaniard enjoyed immense success as Barcelona boss, winning five trophies in his first season including the Uefa Champions League – a competition that ultimately eluded Wenger.
The 47-year-old coach counts on supporters inside the north London club’s heirarchy and shares an existing relationship with Raul Sanllehi, Arsenal’s new head of football relations. That would help smooth any arrival, but the former Spain midfielder has scared off some inside the club by demanding a salary on a par with Wenger. He is currently on sabbatical, and remains intrigued by the prospect of succeeding the Frenchman.
Patrick Vieira, the New York City FC manager and former Arsenal captain, is another coach under consideration but the City Football Group are keen to hold onto him, having pegged him as a potential heir to Pep Guardiola in Manchester. The same goes for Mikel Arteta, another former Gunners midfielder, who is working as an assistant to Guardiola.
Wenger admitted on Thursday that he thinks Vieira has the potential to replace him.
“He’s a guy who has the potential one day, yes,” he said. “I’ve followed his managerial career. I think he does very well. But overall, this Premier League is special, you know.
“There are plenty of former players who played here who have potential and the intelligence and the knowledge to do it. So there’s plenty of choice, don’t worry about that.”
German scout Sven Mislintat, who now counts upon great influence on the footballing side of operations at Arsenal, is understood to be assessing options to replace Wenger in his homeland that include Domenico Tedesco and Julian Nagelsmann.
Wenger, for his part, has made no future plans but does not plan to retire, according to sources with knowledge of the Frenchman’s thinking.
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