On Friday morning, Arsenal announced the news that Unai Emery had been sacked, and Freddie Ljungberg will take over on an interim basis.

emery v frankfurt
Arsenal’s Spanish head coach Unai Emery gestures during their UEFA Europa League Group F football match between Arsenal and Eintracht Frankfurt at the Emirates stadium in London on November 28, 2019. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)

It was a long time coming, but on Friday, Arsenal finally made the necessary call to remove Emery from his post and replace him with Ljungberg – at least for the time being. The club write that “the search for a new head coach is underway” now.

Let’s have a look at the rumoured long-term replacements for Unai Emery since the announcement this morning.

Freddie Ljungberg

This one was obvious. Ljungberg is in charge as interim head coach, but the talk is that he could be in charge full time if he does well. David Ornstein claims Arsenal have high confidence in the Swede and a long-term appointment is a possibility.

James Benge reports that Ljungberg would have to get Arsenal back into the Champions League to earn such a deal. The hierarchy aren’t going to make any rash offers to him the way Manchester United did to Solskjaer.

Mikel Arteta

Pep Guardiola has already been asked about the possibility of Arteta switching his assistant role at Manchester City for the top job at Arsenal. He batted away the question, responding: “It’s not a question for me.”

The Telegraph name him as a candidate for the role, the Independent write that he leads a “four-man shortlist” and The Athletic claim he ‘wowed’ some of the senior figures in his last interview, before they decided on the ‘safer’ choice of Emery.

Di Marzio also list Arteta as a candidate for the role. The Guardian claim he “remains prominent in their thoughts”.

Nuno Espirito Santo

Di Marzio write that Arsenal have made contact with Santo as the primary candidate for the job. The close relationship between Santo’s agent Jorge Mendes and Arsenal head of football Raul Sanllehi is said to help matters.

The Telegraph claim Santo is an option, but a difficult one to appoint given his contract at Wolves. Sky Sports called him the “favourite” to take over and the Independent include him in their shortlist for the role.

RMC’s Mohamed Bouhafsi claims Santo is the priority and talks have already taken place with his camp. Bouhafsi adds that Santo would be interested but Arsenal would have to pay a compensation fee to Wolves.

The Mirror claim sources are playing down the links amid concerns about Santo’s poor relationship with the media.

Carlo Ancelotti

The Telegraph report that Ancelotti is among the long-term candidates being considered by Arsenal, but like Santo, his contract elsewhere (Napoli) makes an appointment difficult. The Independent also included him on their shortlist.

Marcelino Garcia Toral

Goal in Spain report that former Valencia boss Marcelino is a candidate for the job, and they’ve made contact with him. Though it isn’t the first offer Marcelino has received, as he’s also wanted by Sporting Lisbon and recently rejected Everton.

Massimiliano Allegri

Sky Sports claim Arsenal have made contact with Allegri over the job. The former Juventus boss is available, reportedly wants the job and is having English lessons, though his English is currently not good. He also makes the Independent‘s shortlist.

The Daily Mail’s Craig Hope repeats the claim that Arsenal have made contact, but Allegri has concerns over the willingness of the club to spend.

However, Fabrizio Romano tweeted out to say: “Allegri is not in race to become new Arsenal manager”. David Amoyal also says Allegri is taking a year off and that plan hasn’t changed.

Mauricio Pochettino

David Ornstein claims Arsenal see Pochettino as a “credible option” to become their next permanent coach. Ornstein admits it seems an unlikely move given the manager’s history with Tottenham Hotspur, and says the coach is currently taking a break.

Brendan Rodgers

John Cross of the Mirror claims Brendan Rodgers is the top choice to replace Emery, and the club are ready to see if they can tempt him away from Leicester.

Patrick Vieira

Guillem Balague names Vieira as being “very high up” on the list of candidates for the job, but there are few others reporting the link. The Mirror do give him a mention but add that he’s insisting he’s not leaving Nice.

Bruno Genesio

There was briefly a rumour going around that former Lyon boss Genesio had been spotted at London Gatwick, preparing to sign a three-year deal with Arsenal. This turned out to be false.