Arsenal have identified their leading candidate to replace Arsene Wenger - reports
Arsenal have reportedly started the process of drawing up a short list of contenders to replace beleaguered manager Arsene Wenger, with Germany boss Joachim Löw believed to be a leading contender.
The Sunday World newspaper and several English publications have run the story that Germany's 2014 World Cup winning coach is Arsenal's first choice to take over from Wenger, who is now expected to be replaced as Gunners boss at the end of the season.
Kevin Palmer is reporting in the Sunday World that Löw could be joined in a new-look Arsenal management team by the Gunners German defender Per Mertesacker, who has confirmed that he will end his playing career at the end of this season.
While reports in Germany have suggested Löw (above) is not ready to jump into a high-profile club management job once his duties at this summer's World Cup finals have ended, an offer to take over at a club of Arsenal's stature may change that stance.
Meanwhile, Wenger heads in Sunday's game against Brighton under huge pressure after a week that has seen his side slump to two damaging 3-0 defeats against Manchester City that appear to have turned a majority of the club's fans against him.
Another defeat in the upcoming Europa League last 16 tie with AC Milan means Arsenal could end the season empty-handed, with Wenger conceding that would make this campaign worse than last year and all the calls for him to leave that came along with it.
"This season is worse than last season because last season we won the cup and we made 75 points," said the Frenchman.
"I don't deny that, but we'll analyse that at the end of the season. Don't worry, I can live with reality. At the moment, we lost a cup final and we lost a big championship game.
"What are the underlying things? We have to focus on what we did well tonight and what we didn't do well tonight. We need to correct it.
"I've been in sport long enough to know that we played against a top side who is at its best at the moment, and we have to say 'Thank you, well done'."
Who is your sportstar of the year?
Vote in the Irish Independent Sport Star Awards and you could win the ultimate sports prize.
Prizes include, a trip to Old Trafford to watch Man United take on Liverpool in the Premier League, tickets to Ireland's home games in the Six Nations, All Ireland football and hurling final tickets and much more.