Arsenal are reportedly reluctant to pay their new manager the same amount as they gave to Arsene Wenger according to Sami Mokbel in Wednesday’s Daily Mail and Jeremy Wilson in the Telegraph.
Arsene Wenger currently earns around £8.5m-a-year (up to £8.9m depending on where you do your reading), a salary that reflects regular payrises that came with new contracts over the course of his 22-year tenure at the club.
Luis Enrique is said to be asking for £15m-a-year, a sum that has put off Chelsea as well as Arsenal and would also represent more than a 100% increase on the £7m-a-year he was paid at Barcelona before he took a year out.
As a result, Arsenal are said to be looking at more ‘cost effective’ options such as Patrick Vieira, Mikel Arteta or Zeljko Buvac.
The links with Buvac really took off on Tuesday when it was reported that he had left Liverpool.
Coming out of Bosnia, it was claimed that he had agreed to join Arsenal however it looks more like he has left Liverpool temporarily for personal reasons.
His father is believed to be seriously ill and he has reportedly travelled home to spend time with him.
This explanation would make a lot more sense than the reports that he has agreed a deal with Arsenal.
Buvac has been at Jurgen Klopp’s side for 18 years so it is hard to believe that he would walk out of the club two days before their biggest match in a decade.
Add to that the fact that it is highly unlikely that Arsenal would insist he quit his post ahead of such an important match, and it becomes clear that only personal reasons could have driven him away before the Champions League second leg against Roma on Wednesday night.
That’s not to say the links with Arsenal are not true.
Buvac can be both on personal leave and coming to Arsenal at the end of the season.
However it does mean that we should not read anything extra into his position at Liverpool at present until more information is available.
The Telegraph, meanwhile, have almost the exact same story as the Mail, hinting at someone inside the club briefing the two major publications.