Ancelotti in line to succeed Wenger at Arsenal

Carlo Ancelotti and Arsene Wenger
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LONDON – Carlo Ancelotti is reportedly in line to succeed Arsene Wenger if the Arsenal manager decides to call it quits this summer.

The Frenchman, who has been the Gunners’ manager since 1996, is contracted until 2019, having extended his stay last year.

But according to the Evening Standard, Ancelotti would be one of the names considered if Wenger decides to leave a year early.

Any decision on Wenger’s future depends on how Arsenal perform during the second half of this season, with the Gunners still competing in two cup competitions and pushing for a top-four finish in the Premier League.

Ancelotti, 58, certainly has the managerial pedigree to succeed such a long-serving manager as Wenger, having previously coached at Juventus, Milan, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.

He was sacked by Bayern in September after a 3-0 defeat by PSG, but has an impressive CV having won the Champions League on three occasions.

The Italian has now left Germany and is relocating back to London, where he managed Chelsea from 2009 to 2011, with his family.

Pressure on Wenger to leave Arsenal before the end of his contract grew after they were beaten 4-2 by Championship side Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup third round on Sunday.

They are sixth in the Premier League and facing an uphill struggle to qualify for the Champions League via a top-four finish.

Meanwhile, Wenger has revealed midfielder Francis Coquelin is set to join Valencia.

Coquelin had been linked to the La Liga side before the January transfer window opened after making only one Premier League appearance for Arsenal this season.

The 26-year-old Frenchman was also reported to have attracted interest from West Ham and Crystal Palace as Jack Wilshere’s return to prominence with Arsenal blocked Coquelin’s chances of a recall.

Having been left out of Arsenal’s team for Wednesday’s League Cup semi-final first leg draw at Chelsea, Wenger confirmed Coquelin will move to Spain.

“He goes to Valencia. He didn’t get enough games for us this season. He had an opportunity and I let him go,” Wenger told reporters after the Chelsea match.

The Daily Mail/AFP