Arsenal will hold talks with Mikel Arteta on Thursday over their managerial vacancy – amid claims the club are also closing in on four new arrivals.
The Gunners are without a manager for the first time in 22 years after Arsene Wenger’s long reign came to close on Sunday with a 1-0 win at Huddersfield.
The likes of Luis Enrique, Ralph Hasenhuttl, Patrick Vieira and Unai Emery have all been mentioned as contenders for the job – but it seems their former player Arteta has now emerged as the leading contender, with talks scheduled to take place on Thursday.
It’s believed Arsenal are ready to offer the Spaniard an initial two-year deal, with the Spaniard expected to become head coach and work closely with director of football Sven Mislintat.
It’s suggested Arteta will be handed a transfer budget of around £50million – but reports on Thursday reckon much of the Gunners’ business has already been decided, with four new signings said to be close to coming to fruition.
According to The Sun, Arsenal are closing on a £22million deal to sign highly-rated Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno. The keeper has been earmarked by Mislintat as the long-term successor for Petr Cech and it seems a move to north London come to close to agreement.
And it seems Leno will be joined by a new defence in front of him, with the Daily Mirror reporting that Arsenal are close to finalising summer swoops for Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Borussia Dortmund, West Brom’s Jonny Evans and Caglar Soyuncu of Freiburg.
In terms of departures, the Mirror believes Shkodran Mustafi will be allowed to leave the Emirates after a error-strewn season.
The first job for the Gunners though will be the appointment of a new head coach and everything points to Arteta if everything goes well on Thursday.
It is understood the Spaniard will be allowed to bring in his own backroom staff, with Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola not standing in his way if the Spaniard wishes to return to his former club.
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