In Brief

Leonardo Jardim is favourite to replace Arsene Wenger at Arsenal

The Monaco manager sees the Arsenal rebuilding job as an ‘exciting opportunity’

Monaco manager Leonardo Jardim is emerging as the favourite to replace Arsene Wenger in the Emirates hot seat.

Recent speculation has focused on Carlo Ancelotti and Mikel Arteta but the Arsenal board consider the former too old and the latter too inexperienced to take on the mammoth task of rebuilding a squad whose morale is at rock bottom.

Germany manager Joachim Low is an attractive proposition but it’s believed he will want a break from football after this summer’s World Cup and wouldn’t therefore be available until 2019.

That leaves the 43-year-old Jardim who, according to the Daily Express, “fancies a new challenge and believes the rebuilding job on offer at the Emirates Stadium is an exciting opportunity”. 

The Venezuela-born Portuguese manager has been in charge of Monaco since 2014, and in that time he’s constructed a squad bulging with young talent that reached the semi-final of the Champions League (something that has so far proved beyond the capability of Ligue 1 rivals Paris Saint-Germain) and last season clinched the French title.

Since then, however, many of his top names, such as Benjamin Mendy and Kylian Mbappe, have been lured away from Monaco and the Express says that Jardim therefore wants the opportunity to coach one of Europe’s traditional powerhouses. The Emirates, with its 60,000 capacity compared to the 18,523 of Monaco’s Stade Louis II, fits the bill.

The Independent agrees, and claims that Jardim “was initially lined up to replace Wenger if he chose to step aside at the end of last season”. The 68-year-old Frenchman didn’t do the honourable thing, however, clinging to his position and once more leading Arsenal into a season of mediocrity. 

The Indy says that Jardim is “hugely admired at Arsenal” because of the way he transformed Monaco (where Wenger spent seven years as a manager) from also-rans into title winners. He did so playing a fast, attractive brand of football - something that was once the hallmark of Wenger’s teams.

Monaco are aware of Arsenal’s interest in Jardim and, according to the Independent, the club’s new technical director, Michael Emenalo, formerly of Chelsea, is “working to persuade him to stay in the principality”.

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