A day after Arsene Wenger decided to step down as Arsenal manager; the understanding is that Luis Enrique is one of the top contenders to take over at the Emirates.
Many Arsenal fans endured an emotional day after Arsene Wenger confirmed his intention to step down as manager at the end of the season. With the media scouring for reports linking various top class managers to the Emirates job, the Daily Mail report that Luis Enrique is primed to take over the role, after being in advanced discussions with Arsenal.
The report states that new Director of Football Relations, Raul Sanllehi, who also enjoyed a fruitful time with Luis Enrique at Barcelona was reportedly spotted dining at a high-end London restaurant. It only increases speculation about his potential appointment as the new Arsenal boss in the coming days.
While players and fans want to see a deserved send-off for their legendary manager, the Arsenal hierarchy are more focused on landing their prime managerial targets to replace the Frenchman, well before the season ends. Luis Enrique’s name is suggested based on his successful tenure at Barcelona.
The Spaniard managed to win the treble with Barcelona in his first season and a second La Liga title in his next. He departed Barcelona after his third season in charge, leading the Catalans to Copa Del Rey glory and has been on a sabbatical ever since.
Arsenal’s shortlist, however, does not end with Enrique’s name, as many other high profile names have been linked to the job. Juventus’ Massimiliano Allegri, Carlo Ancelotti, Monaco’s Leonardo Jardim as well as former Arsenal stars Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira.
The Daily Mail also reports, somewhat audaciously that Enrique’s appointment could also help in luring Lionel Messi away from Barcelona if the superstar decides to make a move to the Premier League in the future. That aside, the managerial appointment is of high priority for Arsenal, as they look to close the opening as soon as possible.
The idea behind Arsenal reportedly favouring Enrique’s appointment is linked to the concept of a different kind of revolution at the club, which will likely look to move on from the French style Wenger brought into play. Luis Enrique also is thought to be keen to manage Arsenal and compete with other elite managers in the Premier League.
Arsenal, however, will have to battle Chelsea for his signature as the Stamford Bridge outfit are also looking at the Spaniard as a replacement for Antonio Conte, who could be relieved of his post at the end of the season.
It would be worth the wait to see who Arsenal appoint eventually. It is one managerial position that hasn’t been open for 22 years now, and there is a particular belief that top quality managers will relish the chance of joining Arsenal and fill the legendary shoes of the departing Arsene Wenger.