The Telegraph has reported that the Gunners hope to sign a Sporting Director soon to handle the transition following Wenger’s departure.
With the feeling growing that the 67-year-old will leave at the end of the season, Arsenal has come under fire for not having a board member with much footballing experience to handle appointing a new manager.
It is suggested that if Wenger decides to leave, the Arsenal board will look to bring in a Sporting Director to undertake some of the burdens that in the past have all been piled on the Frenchman.
With the ‘Director of Football’ role becoming more popular in England, Arsenal may be the latest club to take it on. However, with each club the responsibilities of the position do vary. It can range from acting as a middleman between the board to the manager to negotiating transfers for the manager.
Before Wenger’s arrival and in his early years David Dein acted in this sort of role, negotiating transfers on behalf of the management and finalising deals for the club. However, as he left the reigns were passed down to Dick Law, though he has a less visible role and is more of a negotiator for the club.
Some of the names that have been mentioned as favourites to fill the sporting director role range from Ramon Rodríguez Verdejo, Michael Zorc to former Arsenal players: Robert Pires, Patrick Vieira and Dennis Bergkamp.
With the former playmaker being the likely out of the former players. Pires has already stated that he’d be interested in the role last year: “Yes, that [being sporting director] is my objective. I don’t know what will happen in the future, but I need to talk about it with the owners and Arsene Wenger. I’d love this job, I love to talk with the players.