Gunners set to appoint Emery after Arteta U-turn
Board get cold feet over former captain’s credentials as ex-PSG boss to replace Wenger
Arsenal are preparing to unveil Unai Emery as Arsene Wenger's successor after backing away from the gamble of giving former captain Mikel Arteta his first managerial job.
In an extraordinary twist yesterday, Emery's experience with Sevilla and Paris St-Germain ultimately ensured that he won over Arsenal's decision-makers and formal confirmation of his appointment is now expected in the next 48 hours.
Despite having no managerial experience, Arteta had been poised to replace Wenger after getting to know chief executive Ivan Gazidis during his six years at Arsenal as a player and then winning rave reviews for his training-ground work as Pep Guardiola's number two at Manchester City.
Arteta had excelled during an interview with Arsenal and then further talks last week and was keen on taking the job.
Gazidis, though, may have experienced cold feet over potentially risking his own reputation by going through with a move for Arteta who, at 36, had never managed a senior game.
Emery, whose contract at PSG was not renewed at the end of the season, made a late play for the job and was well known for his work in Spain to Arsenal's new head of football relations Raul Sanllehi, who was previously Barcelona's director of football. Aged 46, one immediate priority for Emery will be to improve his command of the English language.
Arsenal have been intending to make an announcement on Wenger's successor this week and are adamant that, after what they regard as a thorough and efficient process, they have settled on the outstanding all-round candidate.
Emery certainly has far more experience than Arteta or Patrick Vieira, who had also been mentioned as an option, having managed six clubs in three different countries across almost 800 games during 13 years as a coach. He especially excelled at Sevilla, where he won the Europa League for three successive seasons between 2014 and 2016.
He missed out on the Ligue 1 title to Monaco in his first season as PSG manager but, boosted by the world-record signing of Neymar, won a domestic treble with the French club this campaign. (© Daily Telegraph)