Belfast Telegraph

World Cup 2018

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Unai Emery poised for Arsenal job

The 46-year-old left Paris St Germain at the end of this campaign having won the Ligue 1 title.

Arsenal are set to appoint Unai Emery as Arsene Wenger’s successor, Press Association Sport understands.

The 46-year-old left French side Paris St Germain at the end of this campaign following a two-year stint where he won one Ligue 1 title and four domestic cups, having led Sevilla to three successive Europa League trophies prior to that.

The Gunners are seeking their first boss since hiring Wenger in 1996 and Emery has emerged as their choice to replace him, with an announcement expected later this week.

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Unai Emery is heading to Arsenal

Former Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta, currently part of Pep Guardiola’s backroom team at Manchester City, had been heavily rumoured to be the leading candidate and Wenger said last week the Spaniard “has all the qualities to do the job”.

Arteta, Luis Enrique and Juventus’ Massimiliano Allegri were among those strongly linked to the role and Emery has only been seen as an outside bet with bookmakers since Wenger’s departure was first confirmed last month.

Ian Wright, who scored 185 goals in 288 appearances for Arsenal, has accused the club’s hierarchy of being indecisive.

“It’s like they’re at the sushi shop,” he told 5 live on Monday night.

“You know the stuff that’s just going past? Yeah, I’ll have that. I’ll take that. I’ll leave them ones. No, I’ll take that one now.

“What’s going on at Arsenal? Where’s Unai Emery come from? I can’t get it out of my head.

“You’d have thought that by now they would have known exactly what’s going on. Unai Emery’s now the favourite? He’s going to be the manager?

“Good luck to him if he comes in and gets it. I’ll back him. The fact is you just want people upstairs to be decisive with what they’re doing. I think they’ve had the time. This is the problem I’ve got.”

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Former Arsenal man Mikel Arteta was expected to return

Press Association Sport understands Arsenal conducted in-depth interviews with several candidates from a long list of potential managers.

Their new boss will need to work alongside head of football relations Raul Sanllehi  and head of recruitment Sven Mislintat, and rumours suggested Arteta was concerned with the incoming head coach’s level of control in the new structure.

However, it is believed no one pulled out of the race and the Gunners have settled on their preferred choice.

  • Lorca Deportivo (2005-06)
  • Almeria (2006-08)
  • Valencia (2008-12)
  • Spartak Moscow (2012)
  • Sevilla (2013-16)
  • Paris St Germain (2016-18)

Emery has worked in such models previously, enjoying great success at Sevilla with sporting director Monchi, who is now at Roma.

News of Emery’s possible appointment came on the same day Wenger was pictured waving goodbye as he left the club’s Hertfordshire training complex.

The 68-year-old stopped to pose for selfies and sign autographs in what is expected to be the final act of his departure from Arsenal, having admitted last week he had no time to return properly and “empty my desk” following the last of his 1,235 matches in charge of the Gunners on May 13.

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Arsene Wenger

Arsenal are also in the process of overhauling the backroom staff, with the roles of assistant Steve Bould and coach Jens Lehmann among those to be decided.

It is understood that as many as six other employees will depart, including long-term coach Boro Primorac and Colin Lewin, head of the club’s medical department.

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