Liverpool assistant manager Zeljko Buvac (right) with Jurgen Klopp.
Liverpool assistant manager Zeljko Buvac (right) with Jurgen Klopp.

‘Brain’ behind Liverpool now shock favourite to replace Wenger

ARSENAL are still hunting Arsene Wenger's replacement - and a surprise name has emerged as a new frontrunner.

Wenger's 22-year reign as Arsenal boss is coming to a close and the Frenchman will oversee his final home game at the Emirates against Burnley on Sunday.

The club's hierarchy have yet to settle on a successor but some eye-catching names have joined more established ones among the favourites. Here's a closer look at the men in the frame to replace Wenger.

Joachim Loew.
Joachim Loew.

 

ZELJKO BUVAC ($3.50 with Sky Bet UK)

Lacking any formal experience and in the midst of the crucial stage of Liverpool's Champions League campaign, Liverpool No 2 Buvac was not even considered in Sky Bet market when Wenger's impending departure was announced.

However, news of a break from duties at Anfield prompted him to be added at 40/1 on Monday morning. He has since surged up the list amid reports in Bosnia linking him to the post.

Buvac - whom Liverpool insist remains on leave for personal reasons - has been nicknamed 'The Brain' in Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool revolution and worked with Arsenal's head of recruitment, Sven Mislintat, at Borussia Dortmund but has never been a No 1 before in his career.

 

MASSIMILIANO ALLEGRI ($4)

Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri is currently seeking to win a fourth Serie A title this season and has the credentials to fill the void left by Wenger.

He has previously won Serie A with AC Milan and has established himself as one of the most sought-after manager in world football.

Massimiliano Allegri.
Massimiliano Allegri.

 

He has yet to win the Champions League, despite reaching the final twice, but recently refused to say whether he was planning for next season with Juventus amid rumours he has been taking English lessons.

He said: "We've planned nothing yet, we need to program the future. This is an important week and I haven't scheduled any meeting. I will meet the president and the chiefs when it's the right time."

 

LUIS ENRIQUE ($6)

Arsene Wenger has spoken of his "admiration" for Luis Enrique and Sky Sports' Guillem Balague believes the former Barcelona boss would love a shot at the Arsenal job.

The Spaniard left the Nou Camp last year to take a sabbatical after winning two La Liga titles and the 2015 Champions League but, Balague claims, would relish the chance to work again in the Premier League after turning down interest from Italy, as well as PSG.

 

Luis Enrique.
Luis Enrique.

 

BRENDAN RODGERS ($7)

On the eve of what became his second title win as Celtic boss, Brendan Rodgers emerged as the early favourite for the Arsenal role.

Speculation was boosted when Dermot Desmond, the largest individual shareholder in the Scottish club, said on Friday morning that he would not stand in his way if Rodgers wanted to take over at Arsenal.

Like Wenger, Rodgers is no stranger to Invincible seasons, having guided Celtic to an unbeaten domestic campaign in Scotland last term.

Brendan Rodgers.
Brendan Rodgers.


Before that he came famously close to guiding Liverpool to the Premier League title in 2013/14, leading the way for much of the season before ultimately finishing two points behind Manchester City.

But the 45-year-old, who has also managed Swansea, Reading and Watford, insists he is happy at Celtic, describing his job as the "best in the world".

 

CARLO ANCELOTTI ($8)

Carlo Ancelotti has an incredible CV, boasting a Champions League title, a Premier League winners' medal and a Bundesliga crown among others.

The 58-year-old is out of work following his departure from Bayern Munich in September, where he won the German top flight during the 2016/17 season and the DFL-Supercup in both 2016 and 2017. He's experienced success on numerous stages and would be the experienced head that some Arsenal fans crave to start life after Wenger.

Carlo Ancelotti.
Carlo Ancelotti.

 

The Gunners possess the talents of Mesut Ozil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan in their ranks but he may demand a hefty transfer pot if he was to accept the job. Ancelotti bought Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez in during his time at Real Madrid, spending around £150m to bring in the pair.

The Italian coach also oversaw the £50m addition of Fernando Torres at Chelsea, while Thiago Silva and Lucas were big-money signings at Paris Saint-Germain.

 

JOACHIM LOEW ($11)

Another name fancied for the vacancy at the Emirates Stadium is Joachim Loew.

The current manager of the German national team has turned 'Die Mannschaft' into one of the best teams on the international stage, securing World Cup glory in 2014 and winning the Confederations Cup last year.

 

Joachim Loew.
Joachim Loew.

 

Despite being involved in the national team set-up for the last 14 years, Loew can boast domestic success.

He won the DFB-Pokal, Germany's FA Cup, with VfB Stuttgart in 1997 before going onto win the Austrian Bundesliga with Tirol Innsbruck in 2001 and the Austrian Supercup with Austria Wien back in 2003.

Loew has experienced success at the very top level, alongside working with the likes of Ozil and Shkodran Mustafi previously and would have the opportunity to link up again at Arsenal. Whether an opportunity in North London would interest the German remains to be seen.

 

Others: Eddie Howe $12, Mikel Arteta $12, Patrick Viera $14, Diego Simeone $18, Louis van Gaal $25, Rui Faria $25

 

This story originally appeared on Sky Sports UK.


5 things you should never do during Total Fire Ban

5 things you should never do during Total Fire Ban

What you should not do when there is a high risk of fire

Byron Bay Film Festival off to a very French start

Byron Bay Film Festival off to a very French start

Byron Film Festival director says 2019 program will inspire hope.

Lighting a campfire in a State forest will cost you $2200

Lighting a campfire in a State forest will cost you $2200

Ban on solid fuel fires in State forests comes into effect on Sunday