Rodgers and Ancelotti early favourites to replace Wenger

Rodgers and Ancelotti early favourites to replace Wenger

Arsenal could turn to former Liverpool and Chelsea managers as they look to replace departing Frenchman

David Comerford

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers and ex-Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti are currently the bookies' favourites to succeed Arsene Wenger after the Frenchman announced he would be stepping down at the end of the season.

The embattled Wenger announced on Friday morning that he would be leaving Arsenal in the summer after 22 years in charge.

It is the end of an era at the Emirates, and now the board are lining up a replacement.

Rodgers, who came close to winning the Premier League in a three-year spell at Liverpool, has been installed as the early favourite.

The Northern Irishman has seen his stock rise markedly since a move to Celtic 2016, having avoided a domestic defeat en route to an impressive treble in his first season. 

Meanwhile, after being sacked by Bayern Munich in September, Ancelotti is expected to take up a new role in the summer and has been repeatedly linked with Gunners.

Ancelotti won the Premier League with Arsenal's London rivals Chelsea in 2010 and has also claimed domestic titles in Germany, Spain and Italy, alongside three Champions League crowns.

Could Wenger's former captain get it?

Club legend Patrick Vieira, who currently manages MLS outfit New York City FC, is also a leading contender after Wenger publicly tipped the 41-year-old as a potential successor.

Former Barcelona boss Luis Enrique, ex-Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel and German national team manager Joachim Lowe have also been touted, while Massimiliano Allegri and Leonardo Jardim, currently in charge at Juventus and Monaco respectively, are outside shots.

Still further back are Eddie Howe, a manager with a growing reputation after comfortably securing a fourth consecutive season in the top flight with Bournemouth, and Rafael Benitez, who has ensured survival for newly-promoted Newcastle despite financial restrictions. 

Arsenal are expected to move swiftly to ensure Wenger's successor has ample time to prepare for the upcoming transfer window.