9 managers who could legitimately replace Arsene Wenger at Arsenal
Allegri is currently fighting a two-horse race with Napoli at the top of Serie A as Juventus chase a seventh successive league title – and a fourth under the 50-year-old. But could it be time for the Italian to explore pastures new?
Allegri began his managerial journey at fourth-tier Aglianese and landed the Milan job seven years later in 2010, delivering a first Scudetto since 2004 in his debut season. But the road was slippery thereafter: he came under fire for letting Andrea Pirlo join Juventus for nothing that summer as Milan's league position deteriorated, and was fired in January 2014.
Naturally, he joined Juve and has won the league and Coppa Italia in each of his three seasons, also reaching two Champions League finals.
Allegri is praised for his tactical flexibility: he often switches between a back three and back four. His teams are strong in possession and solid in defence, and the evidence suggests he could well be a suitable fit for Arsenal. In 2012, though, Allegri stated he would retire from management by 55 and wishes to take charge of the Italian national team before then.
The favourite to replace Wenger, according to recent newspaper reports. Ancelotti is available having been sacked by Bayern Munich in September and boasts a winning CV that would doubtlessly appeal in the Emirates Stadium boardroom.
In eight years at Milan he won one Serie A, a Coppa Italia, two Champions Leagues (and reached another final) plus a Club World Cup. After 423 games at San Siro he joined Chelsea in 2009, where even winning wasn't enough. Despite a Premier League and FA Cup double in his first season, Ancelotti was sacked after his second having steered the Blues only to second (the horror!) behind Manchester United.
A year-and-a-half at PSG brought inevitable domestic silverware, as did his most recent spell in Germany, but European success was delivered where it was craved most – at Real Madrid. Ancelotti accomplished that in his first season, winning the club's 10th Champions League, but failed to repeat the trick in 2014/15 and was out.
The Italian is respected for his mentoring of players, who often flourish under his guidance – but do Arsenal's players need more than just an arm-around-the-shoulder type?
Although Simeone extended his contract last autumn to 2020, he remains one of the favourites for the Arsenal post. His full-on, aggressive style is the binary opposite of Wenger’s, but that could be exactly what this crop of Arsenal players needs to start challenging for league titles again.
Simeone has consistently kept Atletico punching above their weight with teams greater than the sum of their parts, creating a third rival for Real Madrid and Barcelona that hadn't existed for a decade.
Lifting the Europa League trophy after half a season in charge was a sign of things to come: as well as steering Atleti to the 2013/14 title, the Argentine has also reached two Champions League finals – an astonishing achievement for a team that was mid-table in La Liga upon his arrival.
El Cholo has shown little desire to leave Madrid over the last seven years, but perhaps the chance of a huge project like Arsenal could appeal. There'd certainly be plenty to sink his teeth into.