Former Barcelona boss Luis Enrique has replaced Brendan Rodgers as the new favourite to take over as Arsenal manager in the summer. Arsene Wenger rocked the footballing world when he announced he was standing down.
<p>Former Barcelona boss Luis Enrique has replaced Brendan Rodgers as the new favourite to take over as Arsenal manager in the summer. Arsene Wenger rocked the footballing world when he announced he was standing down at the end of the season following 22 years at the club. It marks the end of the longest reign of any manager in Europe’s top five leagues, and speculation rages across the world as to who will replace him. Several elite coaches, former Arsenal players and intriguing youngsters are all in the running, and it is sure to attract plenty of betting action in the weeks ahead.</p><p>Enrique was expected to replace Antonio Conte at Chelsea in the summer, after a testing year for the Blues. He remains the favourite to take the job, priced at 2/1 with Sky Bet and 4/1 with Bet Victor, but rumours abound that Roman Abramovich is having second thoughts. The new name bandied about for the Chelsea job is Napoli coach Mauricio Sarri, and the odds on him taking over at Stamford Bridge are plummeting. That would free Arsenal to court Enrique, who won the Champions League during his time at Barcelona, and he is now the 3/1 favourite with Unibet, 888 Sport and Sportingbet.</p><p>But the Arsenal board is said to be split over who will replace Wenger, and several big names are in the mix. Carlo Ancelotti would represent a pretty safe pair of hands as he has won plenty of silverware at AC Milan, Real Madrid, Chelsea, PSG and Bayern Munich, and he is interested in the job. He is priced at 6/1 with Paddy Power, Unibet and 888 Sport to land it. Germany manager Joachim Löw is next at 9/1 with William Hill and Bet Victor. He has won the World Cup and could bring a strong German contingent with him to complement the skills of Mesut Özil, but he has not managed at club level for many years.</p><p>The early favourite, Rodgers, has now drifted all the way out to 12/1 with William Hill and Paddy Power, but that is still an intriguing bet. He nearly won the Premiership title with Liverpool after getting the best out of Luis Suarez and, although his reputation was dented towards the end of his tenure at Anfield, he has rebuilt it at Celtic, securing an unbeaten treble last season and creating an exciting young team. He is a pretty slick operator and it is easy to imagine him impressing the board in an interview.</p><p>The dream appointment for many Arsenal fans would be Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri, although it would be difficult to pry him from Turin. He is 12/1 with Paddy Power and Boyle Sports. Thomas Tuchel is primed to take over at PSG in the summer, but Wenger might now be a candidate for that job. Tuchel is 13/1 with Unibet to be the next Arsenal manager, and former Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira is 14/1 with Paddy Power.</p><p>There are plenty of options there, but Enrique is gaining momentum in the race and he ticks plenty of the boxes that chief executive Ivan Gazidis is looking for. Bookmakers are also offering odds on what will happen to Wenger, and he is 5/2 to take over at PSG, 3/1 to move to the MLS and 4/1 to become manager of the French national team after the World Cup. The Gunners beat West Ham 4-1 at the weekend and all eyes now turn to the Atletico Madrid game on Thursday.</p><p>It will be a monumentally difficult task, but the hope among the club’s hierarchy is that the players will put in a heroic shift to ensure Wenger leaves with one final trophy. They need to beat Atletico Madrid over two legs, and if they pull it off they will be the clear favourites to beat either Marseille or Red Bull Salzburg in the Europa League final. Arsenal are 17/10 with Boyle Sports, 41/25 with Marathon Bet and 6/4 with various bookmakers to beat Atletico on Thursday and that looks like an intriguing option.</p>