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Next Arsenal manager latest: Niko Kovac breaks silence on Arsenal links, Mikel Arteta’s stance – Football.London

December 10, 2019

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Arsenal interim head coach Freddie Ljungberg finally recorded his first win in charge, with a 3-1 win over West Ham on Monday night, but will it be enough to persuade the Gunners hierarchy to give him the job full-time?

Speculation continues to grow about Mikel Arteta and Patrick Vieira, while former Valencia boss Marcelino has also been closely linked.

But who will be the coach that Raul Sanllehi, Edu and Vinai Venkatesham choose?

Here is a timeline from the beginning of what we know so far about the search for the new man to take charge at the Emirates Stadium.

Who is on the shortlist?

According tothe Mirror, Arsenal have compiled a shortlist of names to replace Emery, including Brendan Rodgers, Mauricio Pochettino and Mikel Arteta.

The Gunners are said to be hoping to whittle down the list to four or five names by the end of the week, with the decision to be made by a panel made up of technical director Edu, head of football Raul Sanllehi, managing director Vinai Venkatesham and contracts negotiator Huss Fahmy.

The report also claims that Ljungberg is unlikely to be contender for the permanent position unless result take a dramatic upturn.

What has Brendan Rodgers said?

One of the names that has been mentioned with the Arsenal job a lot over the weekend is Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers. The Northern Irishman has been asked about his future a number of times over the past few days.

Reports emerged that the Foxes’ boss has a £14 million release clause in the three-and-a-half year deal he signed at the King Power Stadium in February, and Rodgers was asked about the clause following his side’s dramatic win over Everton.

“Listen, there probably is (a clause) in most manager’s contracts,” he told Sky Sports.

“It is all hypothetical, with these types of situations.

“I think the best thing for me at the moment, we have had a brilliant win today [against Everton] and we came back really well.

“My focus is on Leicester. I made a change eight or nine months ago and I came here, and I’ve been so happy to work with these players here, but we still have a lot of work to do.

“Most managers contracts will have something in that, but for me, my only concentration is on Leicester.”

Speaking ahead of Leicester’s midweek game against Watford, Rodgers was again asked about the links to Arsenal.

“I’m very happy and I don’t need to look elsewhere.

“Why would I want to leave Leicester City at this moment in time? I’m working with a group of talented players.

“I spoke about contract but I was directly responding to a question

“There will always be speculation around jobs. I repeat: I’m happy here. I want to continue with that. Take from that what you want.”

He also added: “It’s all about happiness.

“Knowing the potential we have here to grow here. That gives me happiness. Why would I want to give that up?”

Will Rodgers leave Leicester?

Rodgers has quickly settled in Leicester, having led the team to second place in the table, having only joined the club eight months ago from Celtic.

Leicester City Correspondent forLeicestershireLive, Jordan Blackwell, is confident that the Leicester boss won’t be moving on from the King Power stadium anytime soon.

“I have no reason to believe that that is a genuine sentiment [Rodgers’ commitment to Leicester in interviews], yes, he is an ambitious manager and he want to reach the top, but I think there’s a few reasons why he will stick around for a couple of seasons yet,” he said.

“Firstly, the project at Leicester has only just started and it’s going very, very well. He’s got a young, talented squad that have made massive strides in the nine months that he has been here, they’ve got massive potential to go even further…”

“In short, don’t worry too much about speculation about Rodgers possibly moving to Arsenal, I think he’s going to be sticking at City for a few years yet.”

See what else he had to say in the video below:

What has Mauricio Pochettino said?

Pochettino is another manager who has been linked with the job, having left Tottenham just a matter of weeks ago. The former Spurs head coach has spoken about his future for the first time.

“There are a lot of clubs and attractive projects for me to take on,” said Pochettino, speaking to Fox Sports in Argentina.

“But, for the time being, the most important thing is for me to clear my head after five-and-a-half incredible seasons with Tottenham.

My aim is to seek the ability to rebuild myself and get my self-motivation back.

“It is my intention to return to manage in Europe. It is hard for me to imagine a project in Argentina. However, for the sake of my family, I would not refuse to work over here.

“But now I need to be calm for a few days and see what happens. I haven’t had a lot of time to digest what has happened with me.

Full story here.

Freddie Ljungberg’s future

One option for Arsenal could be Freddie Ljungberg, who could turn his temporary job into a permanent one with a few positive results. However, the caretaker manager has insisted that he is not thinking ahead of the next match.

“For me, it’s about the team and the club, I try and concentrate for the future, we have a game tomorrow, we try and win that as hard we can and in a few other games, we’ll see, but, that’s what I look at, the other stuff is totally irrelevant at the moment,” he told Sky Sports ahead of the Norwich match.

Read More

Freddie Ljungberg at Arsenal

“We’ll see in the future, at the moment I’m learning the trade,” he answered when asked if he would like to become a manager one day.

“I’m trying to do everything I can to better myself, of course it’s an honour that the club thinks I’m ready to take this big responsibility, but at the moment I’m just concentrating game by game.”

According to theDaily Mail, Ljungberg is failing to convince Arsenal chiefs that he has what it takes to halt the poor Arsenal form.

Mikel Arteta to return

Another name heavily linked to the vacancy is former midfielder Mikel Arteta, who was close to getting the job ahead of Unai Emery in the summer of 2018.

The Spaniard is currently assistant manager to Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, but could the pull of the managerial position at his former club prise him away from the Etihad Stadium?

Take a look at what we know here

Mauricio Pochettino release clause

According tothe Telegraph, despite leaving Tottenham a few weeks ago, appointing Pochettino as manager could prove to be expensive for Arsenal.

The report claims that Spurs would still be entitled to compensation, should Pochettino be appointed before the summer, meaning that Arsenal would have to negotiate with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy.

Pochettino opens door to Arsenal or Man United

Pochettino has always said that he would not manage Arsenal, because of his connections with Tottenham.

The same is true of Barcelona, after playing and managing their Catalan rivals Espanyol.

But after his sacking by Spurs the links with Arsenal surfaced.

Although it appears the Gunners may miss out on the Spurs boss, because he ‘wants’ the Manchester United job.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is currently the manager at Old Trafford, although he is under intense pressure, with the Red Devils ninth in the Premier League table.

Pochettino was previously linked with replacing Jose Mourinho, now the Spurs boss, at United, but stayed put.

However, there is nothing stopping Pochettino taking over at Old Trafford now, and according to our friends at theManchester Evening News, the former Spurs boss is keen on taking over should Solskjaer be replaced.

The report also claims however, that Pochettino would also be ‘open’ to a move to the Emirates.

Read the full storyhere.

Brendan Rodgers decision

The Leicester City boss is thought to be one of the Gunners’ top managerial targets.

But they look set to move on from him and look elsewhere.

According to our friends at the Mirror, the Arsenal hierarchy believe there is little chance of luring the northern Irishman away from the King Power Stadium at present.

Rodgers has admitted that there is a release clause in his contract thought to be at around £14million, but Arsenal bosses are ready to move on with the belief that Rodgers will not walk away from the Leicester post.

The Leicester manager has since signed a new five and a half year contract at the King Power Stadium, ending speculation about his immediate future.

Raul Sanllehi’s first choice

Arsenal’s head of football Raul Sanllehi’s first choice to succeed Unai Emery is Luis Enrique, according to reports.

However, Enrique was recently re-appointed as Spain manager, ruling out any move to north London.

But according to The Athletic’s David Ornstein, Sanllehi would have gone for Enrique ahead of anyone else.

“Raul Sanllehi was very keen on Luis Enrique first time round but the illness to his daughter, who sadly passed away, meant he wasn’t even a consideration in 2018 with that situation. He would have been very keen on him,” Ornstein said on The Ornstein and Chapman Podcast.

“Again there were reports that came out of Spain that he had been approached a few weeks ago, very quickly played down.

“But they’re sort of lingering and people I’ve spoken to have said if Raul had his choice of the market, he would pick Luis Enrique.

“But obviously Luis Enrique is now back in the national team job with Spain.”

Mikel Arteta wants the job?

According to theDaily Mail, the former captain would find the Arsenal job too hard to turn down, despite being overlooked upon the appointment of Unai Emery.

The report comes after Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola backed his assistant to be successful in management.

“He’s ready [to be a manager]. It’s right when he has an offer and he accepts the offer,” he said (via theIndependent)

“But if you ask whether he’s ready in his knowledge of the game, as a person, as a professional, then he’s ready.

“I’m pretty sure, yes [he could be my successor].

“He will have success, yes. Sooner or later it’s going to happen.”

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Pochettino’s return

Mauricio Pochettino has been out of the dugout for three weeks now, since his sacking by Arsenal’s north London rivals Tottenham.

And there have been plenty of rumours about where he will rock up next.

Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain have been touted, but the position at Arsenal has also been mentioned, on more than one occasion.

And Pochettino is planning to return to London…but not for talks with Arsenal, at least not yet.

Speaking to Argentinian reporters, the ex Spurs boss said: “I’m going to spend a few days here [in Rosario] with my family and friends, and then I’ll return to London next week.”

Arteta in ‘pole position’

According to The Athletic, Mikel Arteta is favourite to get the Arsenal job, with Raul Sanllehi Edu and Huss Fahmy narrowing their shortlist.

Carlo Ancelotti, Mauricio Pochettino, Patrick Vieira are also in consideration, along with Belgium manager Roberto Martinez.

The report claims the Gunners hierachy will take a final list of two or three names to the Kroenkes before a final call is made.

However, in the meantime, the club have full faith in Ljungberg to steer the club in the right direction while the recruitment process continues.

Niko Kovac latest

According to Goal, former Bayern Munich coach Niko Kovac has told Arsenal that he is interested in succeeding Unai Emery as head coach.

The Croatian will attend the Premier League match against West Ham on Monday night, but releasing a message through his entourage, Kovac dismissed the claims.

As reported by German press agency DPA, he said: “What utter nonsense, Niko is not interested at the moment, he wants to take a step back.”

Marcelino ‘talks’ with Arsenal

According to ESPN, former Valencia head coachMarcelinohas held talks with Arsenal regarding the head coach role and would be open to accepting if offered it.

However, there are reportedly doubts over his grasp of English after Unai Emery’s difficulties with communicating with the squad, and the Arsenal board could turn to Mikel Arteta or Patrick Vieira instead.

The report also claims Marcelino has offered his assessment of the Arsenal squad, believing that the Gunners have a strong attack, but a generally unbalanced team.