Arsenal are mulling over an official approach for Monaco head coach Leonardo Jardim as Arsene Wenger’s replacement.
That is according to France Football, who have claimed that the Gunners want the Portuguese manager to replace their outgoing boss when he steps down from his post at the end of the season.
Arsenal were thought to be in advanced talks with former Barcelona boss Luis Enrique, but the Spaniard’s greed is apparently putting the mockers on any deal progressing at this stage.
France Football’s report alleges that Enrique wants a summer transfer war-chest in excess of £200m to take over at the Emirates, as he bids to overhaul the club’s senior squad – funds that Arsenal are not willing to comply on.
That has led to chief executive Ivan Gazidis casting his net further afield in the hope of finding the right man to take over from Wenger, and Jardim has now emerged as a potential front runner in the heated battle for the post.
Jardim led Monaco to the Ligue 1 title and into the Champions League semi-finals last season during an unprecedented campaign, but has failed to live up to the lofty expectations set this term due to a number of reasons.
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The 43-year-old’s star side was dismantled last summer and has led to Monaco team finding themselves in third position in the league table – 20 points off champions Paris Saint-Germain.
Despite this setback, Jardim is thought to be highly rated in the corridors of power in north London, and his brand of football would continue Wenger’s own work over the past two decades.
Jardim is contracted to Monaco for another two seasons on a reported £3.5m-a-year deal, but the lure of managing in the Premier League could tempt him enough to ask Monaco to speak to Arsenal.