Gunners chief offers his backing to former team-mate to become Arsenal boss

Patrick Vieira will reportedly have the support of former Arsenal team-mate Edu if he chooses to apply for the current managerial vacancy at the Emirates.

Unai Emery was sacked in November after a year-and-a-half in charge at the club, the first man to oversee the side since the exit of Arsene Wenger.

The Spaniard improved the side in his first campaign as they earned seven more points in the PL and reached the final of the Europa League, but the team fell apart on and off the pitch in the early stages of his second season.

Interim manager Freddie Ljungberg has been charged with rebuilding the team’s confidence in the immediate future but one of his one-time team-mates Vieira has been linked with the full-time role.

Patrick began his coaching career in the Manchester City youth set-up but is now in charge at OGC Nice in Ligue 1 and is said to be interested in the chance to return to the Premier League.

According to the Sunday Times, Patrick has told friends he would like to come back to the Gunners, for whom he won three PL titles and was part of the legendary ‘Invincibles’ line-up.

And another of his former Arsenal team-mates Edu, who is now in technical director at the Emirates, is reportedly backing the Frenchman for the role.

The Brazilian is not the only one either with another ex-Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Petit backing Patrick to do the job.

‘I would like Vieira to be Arsenal manager, that an ex-Gunner takes responsibility,’ he told the French radio station RMC.

‘When I see what Frank Lampard is doing with Chelsea despite it being his first big test with a big club, why not imagine that the same success would be possible with a former Gunner?

‘The problem with Freddie is that I don’t know what he is capable of. He was also Emery’s assistant.

Arsenal-linked Spanish chief fuels speculation he could join Gunners

Marcelino has reportedly flown to the British capital on Sunday, amid talk linking him to the vacant Arsenal head coach’s position.

The Gunners sacked a former Valencia and Sevilla chief, Unai Emery, after a poor start to the campaign but are now considering hiring another, with reports stating they had made contact with the 54-year-old tactician last week.

Arsenal chief, Raul Sanllehi, is stepping up his search for Unai’s replacement, with interim manager Freddie Ljungberg failing to arrest the slide after starting his reign with a draw versus Norwich before defeat to Brighton.

Ahead of the trip to West Ham United on Monday, Marcelino caught a plane to London, according to a recent report from Super Deporte, which will further fuel speculation the Spaniard could end up in the dugout at the Emirates.

The former Villarreal boss has also been linked with the post at Goodison Park, with the Toffees chiefs deciding to end Marco Silva’s reign at the club.

Club legend Duncan Ferguson got his stint on the touchline off to a good start, masterminding a win against Chelsea.

Marcelino was sacked by Valencia in September, in spite of guiding the Spanish side to the Copa del Rey title last term.

Meantime, Arsenal are reportedly keen on landing Manchester United centre-back Chris Smalling next year.

The 30-year-old star was deemed surplus to requirements at the Red Devils ahead of the 2019-20 term, which led to Roma agreeing on a season-long loan for the former non-league centre-back.

Arsenal interested in bringing Man Utd loanee back to England

Arsenal have set their sights on a move for Manchester United’s on-loan centre-back Chris Smalling, according to the latest reports.

Smalling left United in the summer transfer window following the arrival of Harry Maguire and joined Serie A side Roma on a season-long loan.

The 30-year-old Englishman has impressed during his first few months in Serie A and Giallorossi are already keen to make the move permanent.

But according to a recent report by the Sunday Mirror, Smalling has attracted interest from the Gunners, with the club constantly monitoring his progress in Serie A.

The report claims that Red Devils are open to selling Smalling but are demanding £18m for the centre-back.

It’s also claimed that Leicester City and Everton are keeping tabs on Smalling’s performances at Giallorossi in preparation for a potential move at the end of the term.

Speaking about Smalling’s displays at the Rome-based outfit, Solskjaer said earlier this week:

‘Chris has been fantastic. We know sometimes if you change the environment it can go both ways.

‘But Chris is the type to relish these challenges he’s cultured, enjoys life down there, it’s a new experience for him.

‘He’s a boy who couldn’t be here without being a regular and we’re so happy for him because we can see the top player he is.’

In other news, Manchester City assistant manager Mikel Arteta is reportedly interested to be considered as a candidate to become the new Arsenal head coach on a long-term basis.

Freddie Ljungberg is currently in charge of senior-team affairs having replaced Unai Emery, although the Swedish star is allegedly not being considered as a genuine variant for the role on a permanent basis.