Arsenal have drawn up a shortlist of potential successors to Mikel Arteta, with Maurizio Sarri first in line to replace him according to a report.
Gunners boss Arteta is facing mounting scrutiny after his side’s recent poor run of Premier League form.
Arsenal have not won in the top flight since a 2-1 victory over Manchester United at the start of November. What’s more, Gabriel Magalhaes’ header against Wolves was their first in open play since October 4.
But aside from such detail, Arteta‘s men have lost four and drawn one of their past six league games.
Arsenal are likely to give the Spaniard significantly longer to fully implement his vision on the team. Indeed, he has only had two transfer windows and remains in his first full season.
According to StadioSport, however, club chiefs have begun to devise a contingency plan for if the club’s form does not improve.
The report claims that Sunday’s most recent defeat to Wolves ‘set off some alarm bells’ in north London.
As such, Arteta is ‘getting closer’ to seeing the sack and is ‘seriously’ risking his position with the club’s current run.
As for who could replace him if Arsenal do make the unlikely decision, the source adds that former Chelsea boss Sarri is their leading candidate.
The Italian, who used to be a banker, made his name in football management with Napoli. He then moved to Stamford Bridge in 2018.
While there, he won the Europa League in his one and only season and finished third in the Premier League. Nevertheless, the Blues moved on and selected Frank Lampard as his successor.
Arteta’s predecessor Unai Emery lasted just over a season at The Emirates before his sacking last December.
However, Arsenal had endured much greater divisions under the ex-Sevilla coach – divisions which Arteta has moved to repair after taking over.
Arsenal still baffled by transfer clanger
Meanwhile, reports elsewhere claim that Arsenal chiefs still remain puzzled about Ismael Bennacer’s treatment at the club.
The midfielder joined the Gunners’ youth ranks in 2015 but only made one senior appearance. Indeed, he was then sold to Empoli in 2017, in a deal in which Arsenal negotiated a favourable clause.
But then-head coach Emery did not choose to activate that clause in 2019, when AC Milan came in for the player.