Unai Emery may be doing a respectable job in his first season as Arsenal manager, having guided the club into the top four as well as into the Europa League quarter-finals, but the Spaniard was not Arsene Wenger’s choice to take the reigns at the Emirates last summer.
Several of Europe’s top managers were linked with succeeding Wenger after his 22 year tenure was brought to an end little under a year ago, with Emery finally being appointed and doing an admirable job in his first season in charge.
But things could have been so much different if Wenger had got his way and seen his choice appointed instead.
The Frenchman was keen for former Real Madrid and AC Milan boss Carlo Ancelotti to replace him in the dugout, but the Italian opted for a position in his homeland, replacing Maurizio Sarri at Napoli instead.
Calcio Napoli 24 reported the news this week, with journalist Ciro Venerato sharing the story ahead of Arsenal’s Europa League clash with the Serie A giants.
“Arsenal-Napoli?”I’ll tell you a behind-the scenes story dating back to last summer when Arsene Wenger indicated Carlo Ancelotti as his possible heir and successor on the Arsenal bench.
“Carlo Ancelotti, as you know, has a Canadian wife and the whole family lives in London. So he was interested.
“Arsenal then chose Unai Emery and at that point Carlo Ancelotti signed for Napoli, but he did not forget that Arsenal rejected him.”
The Italian has lifted the Champions League three times as a manager (twice with AC Milan, once with Real Madrid) as well as league titles in Italy, Germany and France.
Are you glad Arsenal decided against Ancelotti and opted for Emery instead?
Have your say in the comments.
(h/t the mirror)