Arsenal should look to replace Arsene Wenger with Antonio Conte should the Italian leave Chelsea, says Paul Merson.
The suggestions comes amid much uncertainty around both managers.
Wenger signed a two-year contract last summer but many predict this could be his final season in charge at the Emirates. The recent transfer business at Arsenal, including the arrival of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, has hinted that Wenger is no longer in total control at the club.
Meanwhile over at Chelsea, Conte is on the verge of being sacked after a difficult start to 2018 and fractures in his relationship with those above him at the club.
Former Arsenal player Merson believes his old side should take advantage of the situation, believing Conte could greatly improve the Gunners’ defence.
‘The day he [Conte] leaves Chelsea, if I was Arsenal, I’d be straight on the phone,’ Merson told Sky Sports.
‘Arsenal need someone like him.
‘He upsets people but he wants you to play a certain way and he will make you rock solid at the back.
‘As soon as Arsenal get rock solid at the back they will be a force.’
The idea of Arsenal employing Conte might seem outlandish, but Merson believes his former employers would be open to making such a move.
‘He’s a top manager.
‘I think Arsenal would say “we will have you next season”. I think they would be mad if they didn’t.
‘Sooner or later it’s got to change, Arsene can’t [stay forever].
‘These managers don’t come along too often in football. I think he ticks all the boxed I really do.
‘Arsenal can’t keep on missing all these managers.’
Conte is widely expected to leave Chelsea this summer, if not earlier. He’s been strongly linked with returning to manage the Italian national team as well as Real Madrid and PSG.