Arsenal have reportedly joined the race to sign Luis Enrique, who is also being targeted by Chelsea to be their next manager.
According to a report by Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo, Arsenal are considering Luis Enrique as a possible replacement for their long-serving manager Arsene Wenger. The Gunners have joined Chelsea in pursuit of the former Barcelona manager.
Enrique’s first foray into management was within the Barcelona reserve setup, managing the club’s B side for three years before entering first-team football management with AS Roma in 2011. After two one-year spells at the Serie A club and Celta Vigo, he was appointed as the Barcelona boss in 2014.
The Barcelona stint reaped rewards to begin with, with the club winning the treble in his first season, apart from adding six more titles, including another La Liga and two more Copa del Rey triumphs. But, after an underwhelming 2016-17 campaign, Enrique parted ways with the Catalans, and is yet to assume charge of any other club.
— Gurjit (@GurjitAFC) February 9, 2018
The Spaniard has become a highly sought-after figure in the transfer market, with a lot of top jobs reportedly set to open up after the end of the season – or even before it. The most high profile of these jobs is at Chelsea, who have now been joined by Arsenal, as per the report.
Antonio Conte’s future at Stamford Bridge has become increasingly uncertain with each passing week, with the Italian at loggerheads with the Chelsea board over their recent transfer policy, apart from the fact that results on the field haven’t been satisfactory enough.
The Blues are currently fifth on the Premier League table in the defence of their title, a staggering 22 points behind leaders Manchester City. Chelsea also bowed out of the League Cup at the hands of Arsenal, and haven’t often looked the part in the FA Cup and Champions League either.
Recent reports have suggested that Conte will call it quits at the end of the season, although speculation has been growing like wildfire about his imminent dismissal. Chelsea are, thus, eyeing Enrique as a possible replacement, but will face stiff competition from Arsenal in pursuit of the former Barcelona manager.
— B/R Football (@brfootball) February 6, 2018
Arsene Wenger’s position at Emirates hasn’t been strong in recent times, with the Gunners looking likely to miss a top four finish for the second consecutive campaign.
While Arsenal are in the Carabao Cup final, and have been strong in the Europa League – possibly their best route back into the Champions League – it is the results in the Premier League, like in Chelsea’s case, that have left a lot to be desired.
The North Londoners are now weighing up their options, even though Wenger has one more year remaining on his Arsenal contract after the end of the season. They are now looking to use head of football relations Raul Sanllehi to poach Luis Enrique, with the pair having previously worked together at Barcelona.
It now remains to be seen which side of London Enrique heads off to, with Chelsea and Arsenal going head-to-head to secure his services. What remains certain, as per the report, is that the 47-year-old is excited by the prospect of working in the English capital, with the Premier League an objective.