Arsene Wenger could move up into the Arsenal boardroom in the summer and lobby for Mikel Arteta to replace him as manager, according to reports.
John Richardson of the Sunday Mirror claims that Wenger could ‘cut short’ the two-year contract he signed at the Emirates Stadium last summer.
But the Frenchman will only consider vacating the managerial hotseat if ‘his own man’ is ‘installed as his successor’.
Former Arsenal midfielder Arteta is one of the individuals on the shortlist, with the Spaniard ‘impressing’ as part of Pep Guardiola’s backroom staff at Manchester City.
It is said that the plan for Wenger to move into the boardroom and pick his own successor ‘won’t be universally welcomed at the Emirates’ – but chief executive Ivan Gazidis is a fan of Arteta’s.
‘Arteta certainly left a lasting impression with Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis, using some of the money raised in club fines to buy the American a prestigious watch,’ Richardson writes.
As official collector of the money from players’ misdemeanours, the ‘present’ came as a surprise to some of Arteta’s team-mates.’
The Spaniard also earned praise for his ‘organisational skills on and off the training ground’ in his five years at the club.
Richardson adds that Wenger ‘harbours doubts about continuing beyond the summer,’ and his contract ‘contains a clause’ which allows both parties to review the deal at the end of the season.
‘Informal talks’ have been held with Areteta, although ‘some members of the Arsenal hierarchy’ would be more keen to ‘bring in their own man’.