Arsenal earmark Spaniard as their number one choice for new manager

Mikel Arteta

Former Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta could be named as Arsene Wenger's replacement after holding talks with the club and is considering offering Santi Cazorla the opportunity to join his backroom staff, according to the Independent.

The former French Gunner has been linked with the vacant position at the Emirates but Vieira, now head coach of MLS side New York City FC, has apparently been left "disappointed" after being contacted by Arsenal.

Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis has become increasingly convinced that the Spaniard, now Pep Guardiola's assistant coach at Manchester City, is the right man for the job.

Arteta is the leading candidate to succeed Wenger and his appointment could now be confirmed before the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation starts on June 14.

'So that's why I say yes, Patrick Vieira is ready to manage Arsenal'. I think all of them could manage Arsenal.

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Frenchman Pires - who enjoyed a successful six-year spell at Highbury before joining Villarreal in the summer of 2006 - believes all of the names linked could take on the role, but is in no doubt of the man he would like to see succeed Wenger.

Just not in England which seems to rule out a swift return to the Premier League.

"It will be very hard for me [without Arsenal]", Wenger said.

Although CEO Ivan Gazidis wants to complete a thorough process in the search for Arsene Wenger's successor, no candidate ticks the boxes like the 36-year-old does.

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