Arsenal have reportedly agreed terms in principle with Italian boss Antonio Conte as Mikel Arteta struggles to get the Gunners’ season up and running. The Gunners sit bottom of the Premier League with three defeats from the three games. They are yet to score a goal and already questions are starting to be asked of Arteta’s credentials.
The Spaniard could only manage an eighth-placed finish last term, after winning the FA Cup in his first season. Arsene Wenger was asked about returning to the club this week, but the Frenchman batted off the talk.
Now, according to Todo Fichajes, Arsenal are already making moves behind the scenes to replace the 39-year-old. Firstly, although the Spanish source are far from a reputable outlet, so the latest talk could well be make-believe.
But they report that former Chelsea boss “Antonio Conte was contacted a little over a week ago” after Arsenal’s first two Premier League defeats. The outlet says the experienced coach has “already closed a preliminary agreement” with Arsenal.
Basically, Conte has apparently agreed in principle to taking over in north London as long as he can do so before October. That would leave Arteta needing a drastic improvement in results in his next three games.
Arsenal face Norwich, Burnley and Tottenham, with the first and last of those games at home. And a turnaround in results is not out of the question given the tough nature of their opening games against Brentford, Man City and Chelsea.
Conte is available after leaving Serie A winners Inter Milan in the summer. He departed the San Siro after falling out with Inter over the financial constraints that their owners were imposing. He has since taken up a job as a pundit for an Italian TV channel.
Conte will become a special studio guest for Sky Sport Italia’s coverage of the Champions League and international football.
But that could be short-lived if Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke and Edu pull the plug on Arteta. With the deadline purportedly imposed by Conte, he could be in charge at The Emirates against Brighton on October 2.
Conte was understood to be a candidate to take over at Everton before Rafa Benitez was handed the reins in June. The 52-year-old was in charge of Chelsea between 2016-18 and won their Premier League and the FA Cup.
- A TeamTalk report