Arsenal have stepped up their search for Unai Emery’s successor at the Emirates by creating a 12-man shortlist.
The Gunners sacked the Spaniard last week with no immediate successor in mind.
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Interim boss and club legend Freddie Ljungberg could potentially be in charge for weeks as Arsenal sift through various candidates.
According to the Mirror, the Gunners panel, consisting of technical director Edu, head of football Raul Sanllehi and managing director Vinai Venkatesham, hope to whittle their shortlist down to “four or five” within a week.
Among those thought to be high up the list of contenders are Brendan Rodgers, Mauricio Pochettino and Mikel Arteta.
But all three have large stumbling blocks.
Brendan Rodgers has shut down talk of leaving Leicester.
Mauricio Pochettino is extremely unlikely to betray his principles to cross the North London divide, having managed Spurs for five-and-a-half years.
And Mikel Arteta may be reluctant to abandon his job as assistant to Pep Guardiola at Manchester City in the middle of the season.
Other names linked have included Massimiliano Allegri and Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo.
And while both names are on the shortlist – neither are thought of as leading candidates.
Other names linked with the post include sacked ex-Valencia manager Marcelino, club legend Patrick Vieira, and Rafael Benitez, who currently holds a lucrative post at Dalian Yifang.
Carlo Ancelotti has been under pressure amid the chaos at Napoli this season and might be tempted.
Bournemouth gaffer Eddie Howe and Beijing Gouan boss Bruno Genesio have also been loosely linked with the job.
Alternatively, if results improve, the board aren’t against the possibility of giving the job to Freddie Ljungberg full-time.
The Gunners are currently eighth in the Premier League table.
The club’s main target is a return to Champions League football.
But they are already seven points behind Chelsea in fourth – having failed to win any of their last six league matches.
This story originally appeared on The Sun and is reproduced with permission.