The odds on Thomas Tuchel taking over as the next Arsenal manager have plummeted in the last few days after widespread media reports linking him with the job. Arsene Wenger’s contract runs until 2019, but speculation is rife that he will be axed in the summer following another hugely disappointing season.
The Gunners are 33 points below Premiership leaders Man City and 13 points behind fourth-placed Tottenham, and many fans are baying for blood. The rumour mill suggests that the Arsenal board believes Tuchel is the man to lead them back to the summit of the game, and punters have responded accordingly.
On Sunday, Tuchel was 33/1 with Green-Listed Bookmakers to become the next Arsenal manager, but he is now just 10/11 with Bet Victor, even money with Paddy Power and 6/4 with Sky Bet and 888 Sport. That comes after a huge flurry of bets went on the German coach replacing Wenger, and it looks like a sensible option.
Arsenal have been desperate for change for a long time, and Wenger has only kept his job because he has delivered Champions League football. Now Arsenal are set for a second consecutive failure to finish in the top four, and if they cannot win the Europa League their period in the Champions League wilderness will be extended.
That could affect sponsorship deals, while the Emirates has had plenty of empty seats of late, and you get the sense that owner Stan Kroenke will act if his bottom line is badly affected. Plans for life after Wenger’s are already afoot as the club have spent the past year making several high-profile backroom appointments, which have effectively stripped the manager of some of his power.
One key appointment is head of recruitment Sven Minislat, who has already persuaded Pierre-Emerick Aubamyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan – both stars at his former club, Borussia Dortmund – to join Arsenal.
Tuchel was manager at Dortmund during Minislat’s time at the club, so the Swede could once more be instrumental to luring another former colleague to the Emirates. However, Arsenal could face competition for Tuchel’s signature, with Bayern Munich said to be interested in securing his services. Bayern has to be the Promised Land for German coaches, as they kept Dortmund in the shade during Tuchel’s tenure and they are always odds-on favourites to win the Bundesliga.
They are currently 4/1 third favourites to win the Champions League and they should soar past Sevilla and into the semi-finals. Manager Jupp Heynckes was brought back from retirement to save them after a calamitous start to the season, but he is 72 and Bayern need a long-term successor. Club president Uli Hoeness hopes to convince Heynckes to stay, but said his chances are just 10% and the former Real Madrid boss wants to retire properly.
Tuchel could be the man to replace him, while Chelsea – who have been linked with Luis Enrique to replace Antonio Conte in the summer – are also in the mix. That could leave Wenger looking for a new job, and he is 13/5 with Paddy Power to take over a Chinese Super League team. You can get 10/3 on him managing in the MLS, and 4/1 on him replacing Sam Allardyce at Everton. The Toffees’ owner, Farhad Moshiri, is a former Arsenal shareholder.
Wenger is 11/2 to take over as manager of the French national team after the World Cup, and 7/1 to replace Unai Emery at PSG. But he could earn a reprieve at Arsenal if they win the Europa League, which would grant them a place in next season’s Champions League. They are second favourites after Atletico Madrid, priced at 10/3 with Green Listed Bookmakers.
Atletico are 6/4, but their air of invincibility has slipped after losing two of their last three games in La Liga, while Arsenal look a better team than the other sides still in the competition, so Wenger could yet buy himself another season at The Emirates.