The Hoffenheim boss Julian Nagelsmann is only 30. But he has become one of the hottest prospects in coaching since taking charge at the German outfit two years ago. The Gunner`s new head of recruitment, Sven Mislintat, is understood to be pushing for the club to go for the rookie boss nicknamed ‘Baby Mourinho’.
When he was appointed at Hoffenheim aged just 28 - becoming the youngest coach in Bundesliga history - the team were 17th in the table and facing relegation.
Under him they avoided relegation by winning seven of their last 14 matches before finishing fourth last season to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in their history. Nagelmann’s current campaign has not hit the same heights, but Nagelsmann’s football philosophy is seen as an ideal match for Arsenal.
Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti is ready to step in if Wenger is axed. But at 58 there appears to be a move within the corridors of power at Arsenal to appoint a younger man. Wenger’s position is under threat again after Arsenal’s Wembley hammering by Manchester City on Sunday. And the Frenchman yesterday admitted for the first time that the final decision over his future could be taken out of his hands.
Arsenal face leaders City again tonight in the league but are struggling to stay in touch with the top four, having failed to qualify for the Champions League last season for the first time under Wenger. He still insists he has no intention of quitting but said: “You try to master what you can master. What is above you… you will not decide your future in your newspapers, and I am exactly like you.
“I am an employee and I give my best for my club that I love.”
Wenger faces growing unrest behind the scenes and increasing pressure from a fanbase disillusioned with how he is running the club. He said: “The decision has technically always been mine.
“I am just amazed that I have to always answer things that are exactly the same. I turned the whole world down to respect my contracts.”
Defender Nacho Monreal could miss Arsenal’s next four games with a back injury. Meanwhile, Arsenal yesterday announced a pre-tax profit of £25.1m for the six months to the end of November.