According to football author John Cross, the Gunners are confident that Luis Enrique will shun Chelsea to take the reins at the North London club.
When Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger decided to step down from the club at the end of this season, a massive void was left at the Emirates Stadium which would bring down the curtain on a 22 year long illustrious career. The North London side is currently on the look-out for a new club manager who can guide them to success and will be buzzing at the prospect of former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique among the names in the hat.
However, there has also been a massive speculation over Chelsea boss Antonio Conte’s future at Stamford Bridge. The Italian clinched the Premier League title in his first season at the helm of English football but has had a disastrous campaign this term and his side is struggling to get into the top 4 with only the FA Cup final against Manchester United a glimmer of hope for silverware at the end of the season.
John Cross Verdict-
The Blues were in the race to capture Luis Enrique but have fallen out a bit regarding the news that John Cross has provided us with on the Daily Mirror, “Crucially, Arsenal’s head of football relations Raul Sanllehi has a link with Enrique from their days working together at the Camp Nou. Sanllehi joined Arsenal in February having been director of football at Barcelona.”
However, the 47-year-old Spaniard, who won the treble with Barcelona in his first season at the Camp Nou has some issues about joining the Gunners.
Chelsea’s Silver Lining-
The only stumbling block between a deal with Enrique and Arsenal is the wage dispute, as Enrique is demanding an annual salary worth £15 million. On the other hand, Chelsea with deep pockets would be able to fulfill Enrique’s wage demands. Also if Arsenal does not win the Europa League and qualify for the Champions League, it’s not a very ambitious team and not readily served on the platter, although even Chelsea may struggle for a Champions League spot next year.
I doubt Enrique would join Chelsea because there is no vacancy at Stamford Bridge as of yet, he is a man who is very clear about what he wants to do, without any obstacles in his way. However, if he takes up the Arsenal job, I feel Chelsea still hold the advantage because of his inexperience in the Premier League.