The curtain came down on Wenger’s Arsenal career yesterday as they won 1-0 at Huddersfield – their first away win of 2018.
And the club will now ramp up the process of appointing his successor.
Massimiliano Allegri has seemingly ruled himself out of the job after claiming he will stay at Juventus another year.
“If they don’t sack me, I’ll stay at Juventus next year too,” he said.
Allegri was keen to hold talks with Arsenal but was concerned over the budget for transfers with Wenger’s successor set to be handed just £50m before player sales.
That now puts a younger – and cheaper – head coach-type candidate as the most likely outcome.
Arsenal have reservations over both Luis Enrique and Diego Simeone and are no longer considering either for the role.
Mikel Arteta has emerged as the favourite over the weekend while there is still support for Julian Nagelsmann in the boardroom.
Patrick Vieira remains a potential candidate with reports on Sunday claiming he, as well as Arteta and Nagelsmann, would be interviewed for the role in the coming weeks.
Arsenal want to make a decision before the World Cup starts – giving them a month today – to give the new man the chance to revamp the squad and work through the whole pre-season.
Other options for a head coach style appointment could be former Liverpool No 2 Zeljko Buvac or Rui Faria, who is leaving Manchester United at the end of the season.
Wenger is having no say on his replacement and has been keen to steer clear of offering advice, although has said he believes the current squad is strong enough to challenge for the league with a few additions.
“I see a bright future for my successor because the team has a good attitude and quality,” he said yesterday.
“The team needs some additions and if they get them I think they will compete for the Premier League title.”
Wenger, who leaves after nearly 22 years in charge, admitted he was sad to go, again hinting the timing of his departure was not his choice.
“Of course it is very emotional after 1,235 games for the same club,” he said.
“To enjoy it we had to win it, winning football games is what makes me happy and the boys did it. It was a good day for everyone with Huddersfield staying up too.
“Do I feel relief? Not really, I’m sad. At some stage it has to end, I wish everyone well, the fans have been great until the end and I wish the club well for the future.
“It will be hard to adjust of course but I will have to deal with that. I want to wish this group of players well and the staff coming in, I will remain an Arsenal fan above everything else.
“I believe I had an impact on the club as a whole because the club is in a strong position, it has a new stadium, a new training ground and new players.
“With the results we won three Premier League titles, played 49 games unbeaten and I’m very proud to have won seven FA Cups too.”
Pep Guardiola admits he wouldn’t stand in Arteta’s way if he was approached by Arsenal.
“If he stays I will be the happiest guy in the world and if he decides to move because he has this offer, this option, I will not say you do not have to go,” he said.
“I want the best for my friends and he’s a friend of mine.
“If he decides to go, I will be so sad but I will understand his decision because it’s his career, his life, his family, and I am not the right guy to say you don’t have to do that.”
Read more here: Daily Express :: Sport Feedhappy wheels
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