Despite another likely year without a Premier League title, Arsenal are still waiting on Arsene Wenger to sign a new contract with the club.
The Frenchman’s current deal expires in the summer, and it’s thought that he will wait to review how the campaign’s gone and gauge the general mood around the Emirates before committing to an extension.
According to the Mirror, while owner Stan Kroenke is keen for Wenger to add to his 21 years in north London, Gunners chiefs are aware that there’s now a very real possibility Le Professeur will walk away.
That has led to the creation of a four-man shortlist, headed by Thomas Tuchel of Borussia Dortmund, with BVB having already been asked whether he might be available.
Arsenal’s interest in Juventus’ Max Allegri has also been no secret, the Italian on course for yet another Scudetto as the Old Lady lead Roma by an impressive seven points at the top of Serie A.
Two more understated candidates are Bayer Leverkusen’s Roger Schmidt and Monaco’s Leonardo Jardim.
The latter, whose side have assailed both Nice and Paris Saint-Germain at the top of Ligue 1, will be facing Manchester City in the Champions League, so that meeting in the last-16 could be a useful audition.
Only two Premier League coaches are being mentioned in the frame, and they are Eddie Howe and Ronald Koeman. Both seem unlikely.
Koeman only recently moved to Everton, though he showed then that he isn’t averse to walking out on a club for a bigger, more financially lucrative project.
Howe, meanwhile, has seen his stock fall in recent weeks as the relatively inexperienced Englishman has struggled to address Bournemouth’s defensive frailties.
Ultimately, Arsenal will be doing everything they can to ensure it doesn’t come to this. It will be Wenger alone – and not the baying fans – who decides his future, but they’ll at least be reassured that there’s a contingency plan in place.