Arsenal have reportedly settled on Luis Enrique as their preferred candidate to replace Arsene Wenger but there are likely to be two sticking points before the club and Spaniard can find any agreement – and they both involve money.
With a ‘short-list’ that got longer with every passing day, Arsenal seem to have opted for the former Barcelona manager who is out of work and reportedly keen to come to the club.
That he is unattached works in Arsenal’s favour as they will not have to pay anything to prise him away from another club but he reportedly wants £15m-a-year in wages which is likely to be a massive problem for Arsenal.
Arsene Wenger currently earns around £8.9m-a-year, a salary that reflects the length of time he has been at Arsenal and the number of contract renewals he has signed.
£15m, however, are Manchester levels when it comes to a manager’s salary. Jose Mourinho earns around £15.3m, Pep Guardiola £15.8m.
£15m would represent something of a massive payrise for Enrique as well given that he only earned £7.2m at Barcelona.
The other sticking point is likely to be over the transfer budget for this summer.
Reports on Monday, that seemed to be leaked from the club due to the co-ordinated nature of their publication, stated that Arsenal would only give the new manager £50m to spend this summer, with additional funds coming from player sales. However, Arsenal’s Communications Director, Mark Gonnella has said these reports are just speculation.
Whatever the truth, there will be a significantly curtailed budget compared to what Enrique was used to at Barcelona. While there is some debate over which of the players, that arrived during his tenure, where actually his signings, he finished his three years at the Nou Camp with a spend of £306m and a net of £167m.
To contrast, over the past three seasons at Arsenal, when they have been relatively free with their cash, Arsene Wenger has a net spend of £90.39m.