Mikel Arteta may replace Arsene Wenger

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Former Gunners captain Patrick Vieira has also been linked with the Arsenal vacancy, while outgoing Paris Saint-Germain coach Unai Emery has not been contacted about the position.

Arteta left Arsenal and hung up his playing boots two years ago to work under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City in a coaching role and could be appointed as early as this week.

Mikel Arteta looks to be winning the race to become Arsenal's new manager, amid reports of the players being told that he is "90 per cent" certain to take charge.

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Press Association Sport understands a number of Arsenal's backroom staff have followed Wenger in leaving as the club prepare for life beyond the Frenchman.

Vieira is also a firm favourite with Gunners' fans, having helped drive Wenger's Invincibles team through their unbeaten league season of 2003/2004.

Pires believes Vieira remains the ideal candidate to step into Wenger's shoes at the Emirates club.

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Allegri and Arteta were seen as the two leading contenders ahead of Arsene Wenger's final match in charge on Sunday, but it is now felt that it would be extremely hard to tempt the former away from Turin. I think all of them could manage Arsenal.

"With Vieira - and this is only my opinion - yes".

Although CEO Ivan Gazidis wants to complete a thorough process in the search for Arsene Wenger's successor, no candidate ticks the boxes like the 36-year-old does.

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Meanwhile, Pires and Vieira were teammates for six years at Arsenal.