Carlo Ancelotti Open to Arsenal Move After Arsene Wenger Steps Down

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IApril 20, 2018

BOLOGNA, ITALY - DECEMBER 03:  The italian head coach of soccer teams Carlo Ancelotti attends as guest the LBA LegaBasket of Serie A match between Virtus Segafredo Bologna and Vanoli Cremona at PalaDozza on December 3, 2017 in Bologna, Italy.  (Photo by Roberto Serra - Iguana Press/Getty Images)
Roberto Serra - Iguana Press/Getty Images

Carlo Ancelotti said on Friday he would be "pleased" to hear of interest from Arsenal following news that manager Arsene Wenger is to step down from his post at the end of the season.

The Italian has taken charge of some of Europe's biggest clubs, including Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Real Madrid, and is open to a return to the Premier League, per James Benge of the Evening Standard:

"He [Wenger] decided to leave and it was a great gesture of solidity. He made history, and he has to be recognised for that. The Gunners know their own future, if their plans involve me then I’m pleased from a professional point of view, but at the moment there’s nothing else.

“My future depends on the chances and projects presented to me, it’s not only up to me. Right now though I’m focused on helping UEFA with this wonderful event for those in need."

Wenger issued a statement on Friday confirming his decision to leave Arsenal at the end of the season "after careful consideration and following discussions with the club," per their official website.

Chief executive Ivan Gazidis held a press conference where he spoke about the club's search for a new manager, per Goal's Chris Wheatley:

Ancelotti is is just one of several managers who have already been linked with the Arsenal job. Joachim Low, Patrick Vieira, Massimiliano Allegri and Luis Enrique are on a long list of potential candidates, according to The Independent's Lawrence Ostlere.

The Italian will reportedly prioritise a move to Arsenal and has been wanted by the Gunners for some time, according to Le Parisien (h/t Tom Coast of Sport Witness).

Ancelotti has been available since being fired as Bayern Munich coach in September 2017 after a poor start to the season. He won a league and cup double with the Bundesliga side, but Bayern appeared to lose patience after a 3-0 UEFA Champions League defeat to Paris Saint-Germain.

The 58-year-old does possess a wealth of experience and has won league titles in Italy and France. He lifted the Champions League with Real Madrid in 2014 and with AC Milan in 2003 and 2007.

Squawka Football showed just how impressive his managerial CV is:

He has also worked in the Premier League before. He won a league and cup double with Chelsea in his first season in 2010 but was sacked at the end of the following campaign after finishing second.

Eurosport's Tom Adams is not convinced Ancelotti is the right man for the job:

Ancelotti would be a safe bet, but there's a sense he would only be a short-term appointment. However, replacing Wenger will be tough, and the club's supporters are well aware of how difficult it is, as shown by BBC Radio 5 Live:

Wenger's decision to announce his plans means that Arsenal have plenty of time to consider who should replace the Frenchman at the helm. There will be no shortage of options, but the pressure will be on to appoint a manager who can return the club to the Champions League and mount a title challenge.

    

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