Wenger explains what would make his Arsenal replacement "even better"

Arsene Wenger has claimed it would be “even better” if Arsenal went for a former player to succeed him as manager.

Former Arsenal captains Mikel Arteta and Patrick Vieira are both on the club’s shortlist as potential candidates to take over this summer.

Arteta, currently on Pep Guardiola’s coaching staff at Manchester City, has already been told he is in the frame while Mirror Sport understands that Arsenal will also sound out Vieira.

Arsenal could go for a big name option like former Barcelona boss Luis Enrique but the idea of a younger man fitting into the club’s structure as head coach is known to appeal to chief executive Ivan Gazidis.

Wenger, who took over as a relative unknown in 1996, was asked whether the club should go for a bold appointment this time.

Gunners boss Wenger said: “I would take it the other way around. The need to make the right decision, even if you have to be bold.

"That’s not exactly the same, so that’s what I wish, personally.

“Is it former people that worked here? That is even better. But there are many players who had qualities. Some of them are in the job. I don’t influence that choice but I will stand behind the decision.”

Wenger also admitted he has a “high opinion” of Enrique who is believed to be the leading candidate if they do decide to go for the big name appointment.

Arsenal’s head of football relations Raul Sanllehi was director of football at Barcelona when Enrique was in charge.

Wenger added: “I have a high opinion of him, I do not want to influence the job for the next manager but of course I have a high opinion of Luis Enrique.”

Wenger is understood to have jumped before being pushed at the end of the season but suggested that the timing of the announcement was not down to him.

“The timing was not really my decision and for the rest I have spoken about it already,” said Wenger.

Is Patrick Vieira the man to succeed Arsene Wenger?


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