Mauricio Pochettino a shock contender to replace Unai Emery at Arsenal – The Sun

MAURICIO POCHETTINO is a shock contender to replace Unai Emery as Arsenal boss.

But Gunners chiefs are not convinced they can talk the former Tottenham boss into such a controversial move.

Just two weeks after  backing  Emery, Arsenal’s board is already  having second thoughts about he struggling Spaniard.

And Pochettino’s sudden availability has accelerated contingency plans which are being put into place at the Emirates.

The thinking at the moment remains for Emery to be given every opportunity to remain in charge until the end of the season before taking a decision on his long-term future in the summer.

But senior figures including head of football Raul Sanllehi and technical director Edu Gaspar have been shocked by the speed of the team’s rapid decline in recent weeks.

And owner Stan Kroenke is now reluctantly coming around to the idea that he will have to find a new manager sooner rather than later.

Pochettino, 47, was surprisingly axed with a £12.5m pay-off by Spurs last week despite leading the team to last season’s Champions League final.

And unlike former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, Arsenal’s directors would have no problems appointing Pochettino in spite of his strong Tottenham connections.

But the highly-regarded Argentine coach has always said he would never manage Barcelona because of his strong affinity with city rivals Espanyol.

And he is likely to take a similar view with regard to working for Arsenal after forging such a close bond with the Spurs fans during his five and a half years at their club.

Pochettino is in no rush to get a new job and is happy to wait for a vacancy to arise at Real Madrid, Manchester United or Bayern Munich.

Arsenal, though, are concerned that Premier League rivals Everton, West Ham and Watford could all be in the market for a new boss in the next few weeks.

And they don’t want to miss out on the best managerial talent while they decide whether to wield the axe on Emery.

Mikel Arteta, Brendan Rodgers and former Juventus boss Max Allegri are the other candidates currently under consideration at the Emirates.

But Pochettino is the only contender who is currently available with experience of Premier League management.

Meanwhile Teddy Sheringham apparently told pals sacked Spurs boss Pochettino should avenge his axing by taking the Arsenal job.

TalkSPORT presenter and former England left-back Micky Gray was with Sheringham and a number of ex-pros taking part in a Liverpool v Manchester United legends match in Singapore last week.

Gray said: “Teddy said what Pochettino should do after being treated so badly by Tottenham is to take the Arsenal job.”

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