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As of now, both Arsenal and Chelsea managers Arsene Wenger and Antonio Conte respectively are fighting to save their futures at the club. Wenger at the Emirates is clinging to power after almost 22 years at the helm at Arsenal, while Conte may have less than two weeks left at Chelsea despite guiding the club to the Premier League just last season.
If Chelsea suffer defeat against Barcelona in the Champions League next Wednesday and follow it up with an FA Cup exit against Leicester City four days later, Conte’s grip on his job as Chelsea boss could be relinquished, with his side already falling five points adrift of the top four with Sunday’s 1-0 defeat at Manchester City.
Whatever happens between now and at the end of the season, both Wenger and Conte will have to come up with something special to keep their jobs at their respective clubs.
Arsenal have won just four of their 14 games so far in 2018, losing their four across all competition, while Chelsea have won four from 15. A form that is not conducive to a manager keeping his job at clubs as powerful as Arsenal and Chelsea.
Unless their respective sides poor performances end, and quickly, Arsenal and Chelsea are likely to be in the market for a new manager to take over come the summer.
So if the two clubs both end up in the market for a new manager this summer, who will top their lists and which club would be the most appealing if the same candidate was the top target for all of them?
The Atletico Madrid boss would appear the perfect candidate to take over from Wenger at Arsenal, but he appears the Spaniard’s is tied with the Rojiblancos for at least one more season. Simeone has reportedly be on Abramovich’s wish list in the past, but remains to be seen if he would risk his reputatation at Atletico and join Chelsea or Arsenal.
Monaco’s boss Leonardo Jardim is highly regarded within the Emirates and would be a less abrasive appointment than Simeone. The Frenchman’s sucess with a young squad at Stade Louis II, overseeing the emergence of the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Thomas Lemar and Tiemoue Bakayoko.
Allegri may also tick the box at Arsenal and Chelsea. At age 50, the Juventus boss is experienced enough to take on a challenge outside of Serie A and is a serial winner who would appeal to any club with a vacancy. Four Serie A titles, with Juventus and AC Milan, plus two Champions League final appearances with his Italian side shows his capability of taking the any of the pair far, and he would be a strong contender to manage any of the big three London clubs.
The ex-Barcelona boss, a Champions League winner with Barcelona, is a leading candidate to be the next high profile manager appointed by either Chelsea or Arsenal, but Bayern Munich could deny Abramovic by hijacking the Spaniard if they fail to persuade Jupp Heynckes to stay at the Allianz Arena.
But perhaps the strongest contender the two pair would be on the lookout for is a manager who already has Premier League experience with one of its biggest clubs.
After almost two years at Celtic, Brendan Rodgers has re-established his reputation as one of Britain’s brightest managers. This image was forged at Swansea and brought more to life at Liverpool. But for a Steven Gerrard slip in 2014, the Northern Irishman would almost certainly have ended the Merseyside trophy drought, an achievement which would have earned him a job for life at Anfield.
Rodgers began his managerial prospect as a coach at Chelsea. He came close to landing the Tottenham job before taking over at Liverpool and is admired within the Arsenal hierarchy because of his attacking philosophy. Having won silverware at Celtic and shown his ability to reach further in the Champions League, the 45-year-old is now a candidate again for a big job in the Premier League.
Rodgers, Allegri, Jardim and Simeone will all be courted by any Premier League clubs looking for a new manager this summer, and three of them could end up in London. Yet if the two sides all have vacancies at the same time, summer, and three of them could end up in London. Yet if Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs all have vacancies at the same time, the decline under Wenger would make it difficult for the Gunners to get the man they want.
The managerial race could end up being another one in which Arsenal have fallen behind their big rivals.