Arsene Wenger has insisted that he will still be a manager next season – even if it is not at Arsenal.
Here, we look at five possible destinations for the 67-year-old Frenchman, should he opt to leave the club he has led for more than 20 years.
Return to France
Wenger has not managed in his own country for 23 years, so a return home could prove tempting. It is far from inconceivable that there could be a vacancy at Monaco, the club he managed from 1987 to 1994, winning the league and cup. Their current boss, Leonardo Jardim, has impressed hugely at the Stade Louis II, taking the team to the top of the Ligue 1 table, and is likely to be in demand in the summer.
Taking over at another Premier League club hardly seems appropriate for a man who will forever be associated with Arsenal, but might Serie A be a possibility? Indeed, Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri is the bookmakers’ favourite to be the Gunners’ next manager and, if the Italian did head to the Emirates, the Turin club would surely consider Wenger as a possible successor.
Luis Enrique looks to be living on borrowed time at the Nou Camp after Barcelona’s 4-0 thrashing at Paris St Germain and is tipped to depart at the end of the season. The fall in Wenger’s stock is unlikely to put him at the top of the Catalan club’s wanted list, especially since he has no links with the club or its star players, but he remains a respected figure and could be seen as an effective short-term appointment.
Join the Chinese revolution
A host of global stars have been attracted to the Chinese Super League by the astronomical wages on offer and luring a manager of Wenger’s calibre would be another huge coup. The Frenchman has experience of the Far East from his time with Nagoya Grampus Eight in Japan, but would he be prepared to all but kiss goodbye to his career in elite-level management, however attractive the salary?
Time is running out for Wenger if he fancies a crack at a major international tournament. Didier Deschamps looks secure in the France job, while Gareth Southgate has barely got his feet under the desk with England, ruling out the two most obvious destinations, but plenty of other national associations would love to have him at the helm.