Arsenal have whittled down their shortlist of candidates to succeed Arsene Wenger, with Juventus manager Max Allegri and former captains Mikel Arteta and Patrick Vieira among the select group still under serious consideration.
Allegri’s track record over the past decade makes him the leading candidate among the more heavyweight managerial figures in Europe but, with Juventus playing in the Italian Cup final and then going for a fourth straight Serie A crown in Rome on Sunday night, has not yet been approached.
Arsenal do not want to approach managers in work at an inconvenient moment and so must wait until most of the major European leagues have finished before accelerating their process.
Discussions, however, are being held internally and majority owner Stan Kroenke was personally at The Emirates on Sunday for Wenger’s last home game as manager.
Arsenal are not settled yet on whether to go all out for an established current manager like Allegri or Monaco’s Leonardo Jardim or a younger head coach-style option. They want to conduct a full recruitment process and intend to make their appointment by at least the start of the World Cup next month.
A big, proven figure like Allegri would likely bring greater staff numbers and salary expectations but would represent less of a risk in a Premier League that is now packed with many of the main ‘galactico’ managerial figures in world football.
A younger, less experienced manager like Vieira, Arteta or Hoffenheim’s Julian Nagelsmann would represent a greater gamble, but the Kroenke family know that any appointment carries risk and may feel emboldened by their decision last year to hire Sean McVay, then aged just 30, to the position of head coach at their Los Angeles Rams NFL team.
McVay had played only college football for Miami in Ohio before coaching Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Florida Tuskers and the Washington Redskins, where he had been working as the offensive coordinator. He finished 2017 with an 11-5 win record and was named ‘Coach of the Year’ by the Pro Football Writers of America.
Arteta, 36, is particularly well regarded inside Arsenal for his influence both on and off the pitch as a player between 2011 and 2016 but, other than the past two seasons as assistant to Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, has no senior coaching experience. Vieira is the coach of New York City, who have improved their finishing position in each of his two seasons in 2016 and 2017.