Mikel Arteta favourite to become Arsenal manager

Arsene Wenger rejects huge offer from French club

Arsene Wenger rejects huge offer from French club

And now the Spaniard, according to several reports, has emerged as the clear front runner to succeed Wenger who has stepped down after nearly 22 years in charge.

Press Association Sport understands a number of Arsenal's backroom staff have followed Wenger in leaving as the club prepare for life beyond the Frenchman.

Since July 2016, a 36-year-old Artera has been working as a coach at Manchester City under Pep Guardiola.

Arteta became the preferred candidate of chief executive Ivan Gazidis and director Josh Kroenke, whose influence is increasing massively at the Emirates.

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Former Gunners captain Patrick Vieira has also been linked with the Arsenal vacancy, while outgoing Paris Saint-Germain coach Unai Emery has not been contacted about the position.

Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri remains most fans' first choice to replace Wenger, despite appearing to indicate his desire to honour the final year of his contract after securing a fourth straight league and cup double last weekend.

"I have seen the shortlist: Allegri, Carlo Ancelotti, Mikel Arteta - why not? I think all of them could manage Arsenal", Pires said in an interview with BTSport.com. Not just because he's my friend.

The Spaniard would be assisted by former Arsenal goalkeeper, Jens Lehmann others are Per Mertesacker and Freddie Ljungberg who returned to the Emirates as the Under-23 boss.

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Regardless, Pires believes his former teammate remains the ideal candidate to step into Wenger's shoes.

The former midfielder is now the head coach at New York City FC and he has been tipped for a big future in management.

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