Gary Neville identifies ‘outstanding candidate’ to become next Arsenal manager

The Man United legend believes Diego Simeone should be the top choice to replace Arsene Wenger

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger Photo: The Sport Review

Gary Neville has named Diego Simeone as the “outstanding candidate” to become the next Arsenal manager.

Arsene Wenger is set to call time on his Arsenal reign at the end of the season following 22 campaigns at the north London outfit.

The Gunners boss has overseen a period of inertia at Arsenal over the past six or seven seasons at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal haven’t won the Premier League title since 2003-04 when Wenger’s side finished unbeaten thanks to the exploits of Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira.

The Gunners haven’t reached the Champions League quarter-finals since 2010 and Arsenal missed out on a top-four place last term.

Wenger and Arsenal have struggled to compete with the financial mite of Chelsea FC, Manchester City and Manchester United.

Carlo Ancelotti and Luis Enrique have both been linked with Wenger’s role, while Simeone has remained a popular choice with some Arsenal fans.

Former Manchester United defender Neville believes Simeone would be the ideal replacement for Wenger at the north London club.

“They have to have a manager who can punch above their weight, and the outstanding candidate for me is Diego Simeone at Atletico Madrid,” Neville told Sky Sports.

“Season after season he has challenged, not just in the Champions League but in La Liga too, with a team that has a big budget but nowhere near that of Barcelona and Real Madrid.

“What the new Arsenal manager is taking on with Man City and Man United, and to a lesser extent Chelsea, is huge financial might. £150m, £200m ploughed into the team each season.

“If you’re going to compete with that, you have to have an outstanding manager to do so, and Simeone is that manager in Europe at this time. He has continually done it.”

Arsenal signed Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Manchester United midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the January transfer window.

The Gunners will take on Atletico in the Europa League semi-finals later this week.

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