Arsene Wenger won’t have a say in who will replace him when he finally calls it a day as the boss of the Gunners.
Yesterday it seemed that AW was endorsing a move for Thierry Henry to take up the hotseat but not according to an interview in this morning’s News of the World, in which he says: “I will not nominate my successor. I have a very strong relationship with this club but it is important that everyone does what they are paid to do and my job is not to pick the next manager.
“If I am asked my opinion, then I will give it. But I do not want to be seen as a shadow on the next manager. I would like to leave the club in fantastic shape and give the next man the opportunity to do even better than I have done.
“I want to leave a team behind that has potential and not a team which has no good players in it. I want to leave behind a club in a good financial situation, with a proper structure in place which is geared towards performing to an even higher level in the next 10-15 years.
“Standing on the sideline I often look like an iceberg because I have learned to control my emotions. But when everything harmonises, I am passionate. I call it the team’s soul – if that is in order, anything is possible.”
In this morning’s Mail, AW says he has finally signalled an end to his feud with Sam Allardyce by acknowledging there is a place for ‘big confrontations’ in football.
The pair clashed repeatedly over the years when Blackburn manager Allardyce was in charge at Bolton, principally over how the game should be played.
He said: ‘I believe Sam is a long time in the job and has good experience. He has done well in the clubs where he was. He was not given enough time at Newcastle and overall, apart from there, he has done very well.
‘I always shake hands with him afterwards and we leave what has happened on the pitch there. I was not always happy after the games because there were some big confrontations. But, at the end of the day, that is what sport is about.’
The same paper says Bolton’s Gary Cahill is also being monitored closely by AW, though with Manchester United interested in the centre-half, Wenger will steer clear if a bidding war develops.
Bolton manager Gary Megson is insistent Cahill won’t be sold until the end of the season and the club will expect £20m for the defender. Arsenal won’t pay that but Wenger needs cover for William Gallas and Thomas Vermaelen.
Arsenal have scoured the continent but come up blank, with Juventus’s Giorgio Chiellini admired but ruled out for now as, like Vermaelen, he is left footed and Wenger does notwant two left-sided players at the heart of defence.
Bordeaux’s Marouane Chamakh is ready to come as the replacement for Emmanuel Adebayor. See the story here.
Meanwhile, the PV33 back to the Arsenal story just won’t go away and back in the News of the World suggests it is a done deal and that Paddy will return in January on an 18- month deal.
The paper reports: The Gunners legend was lined up for a move back to London in the summer but the club didn’t get the £750,000 fee to Inter Milan before the deadline. The France midfielder, who was also wanted by Spurs, even passed a medical at the Emirates.
Vieira, 33, is desperate for a move away from the San Siro after becoming a bit-part player behind the likes of Dejan Stankovic, Esteban Cambiasso, Javier Zanetti and Sulley Muntari.