Who could be in contention to replace Arsène Wenger?

Given that Arsenal have not won the Premier League since 2004, the club have been remarkably patient with Arsène Wenger.

Of course, it helps that Wenger has consistently guided the Gunners into the top four and secured regular Champions League participation, and as discontent at his performance has grown among Arsenal fans, three FA Cups in four years has also helped to ease the pressure.

However, there are signs that failure to finish in the first four last season was the final straw for Arsenal’s upper-management.

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New faces have been brought in to oversee scouting and recruitment, and there is to be a review of the club’s management structure, which will include Wenger’s role and his position.

With a little over a year left on his contract, the club will also be keen to avoid the speculation over his future that dogged the team last season.

The verdict of many fans and ex-players seems to be that Wenger’s future at the club should not extend beyond the end of this season.

Arsenal legend Ian Wright has said that he thinks Wenger should go, and former Arsenal star Paul Merson has also weighed in, saying that the club should consider appointing Antonio Conte if the Italian leaves Chelsea this year.

Given the money at their disposal and the depth of talent in the squad, the Arsenal job would be an attractive proposition for any manager.

Although Arsenal are ranked sixth by Stakers in the betting for next season’s Premier League, there is clear potential at the Emirates to challenge for domestic honours and to return to the Champions League.

If Arsenal decide to act, who are the likeliest candidates for the job, and what can they offer?

Carlo Ancelotti

Few managers in Europe have a more impressive CV than Ancelotti, who has managed Juventus, Milan, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich.

He has won three Champions League titles, and he also had a successful stint with Chelsea, winning the double and setting a record for goals scored in a Premier League season.

He is the current favourite, but worryingly for Arsenal fans, like Wenger, he has a record of underachieving domestically, and though he would be a safe pair of hands, he is unlikely to be a long-term appointment.

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Joachim Löw

A World Cup winner with Germany and the man who has helped to bring two generations of high-class players onto the international stage, Löw certainly has a strong reputation.

The question mark for Arsenal fans is whether he can transfer his international skills to the rigours of domestic football, where he has no record of success.

Diego Simeone

If Arsenal want a manager who will correct their perceived softness in defence, then Simeone is their man.

Having guided Atlético Madrid to a La Liga title and two Champions League finals, he is clearly no mug, and would soon be able to turn the Gunners into a tough, disciplined outfit. But would the culture shock prove to be too much for Arsenal fans?

And could Simeone rise to the challenge of managing a club with bigger expectations and a bigger budget?

Patrick Vieira

The midfield general who was part of the great Arsenal side of the late 1990s and early 2000s, Vieira would be an immensely popular appointment.

He has gained some valuable experience at Manchester City reserves and New York City FC and would be a potentially exciting long-term appointment.

However, despite his MLS experience, the Premier League represents a major step up in class, and for that reason, he would be a risk.

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Thierry Henry

Few appointments would go into the job with more goodwill than Thierry Henry, Arsenal’s all-time top scorer. As well as being an Arsenal legend, he does have coaching credentials.

He worked as the under-18s coach at the club until the summer of 2016, taking his UEFA A Licence qualification before leaving to join the Belgium international coaching staff.

However, Henry doesn’t have management experience and for that reason has to be a long shot to take the helm of one of the biggest clubs in Europe, though he would have potential as number two.

Wenger’s departure from Arsenal has been much prophesised, but this time around it feels different.

If time is up for the Frenchman, he will leave the club having transformed it into one of the most successful in Europe, and will hand over a team packed with talent for the new man to write the next chapter in the Gunners’ history.

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