Former Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Petit believes that Massimiliano Allegri, Diego Simeone and Leonardo Jardim would all be good candidates to take charge at the Emirates Stadium if Arsene Wenger's 20-year reign finally comes to an end this summer.
Wenger's latest contract is due to expire next month and there is still no official update on his future ahead of the FA Cup final, despite the Frenchman recently admitting that such uncertainty had contributed to a difficult environment for his players as they missed out on Champions League qualification for the first time in 20 years.
Former AC Milan boss Allegri has won three consecutive Serie A titles since succeeding Antonio Conte at Juventus in 2014, while the passionate Simeone has cemented Atletico Madrid as a true European powerhouse. Jardim recently guided a youthful and relentlessly attack-minded Monaco side to their first Ligue 1 title in 17 years.
Petit is adamant that he wants Wenger to stay at Arsenal and receive greater financial backing both in terms of transfer fees and wages. However, if that does not happen, he believes one of that aforementioned trio would be an ideal fit.
"Massimo Allegri and Diego Simeone would both be good and there are also rumours in France about the Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim, who is very highly-rated," the 46-year-old, who won one Premier League title and an FA Cup during his three-year stint at Arsenal between 1997-2000, told bwin. "He has done well in the Champions League and in bringing through the young talent, whilst still winning titles.
"Allegri has set records at Juventus and I am a big fan of Simeone for what he has done at Atletico over the past four years but I really like Jardim as well. A lot of managers will come and be able to manage Arsenal, but I really want Arsene to stay."
The lack of clarity regarding Wenger's position also complicates matters for Arsenal in terms of their summer transfer plans. Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema and Monaco wonderkid Kylian Mbappe are just two of the players tentatively mentioned in connection with the Gunners over recent weeks, although Petit believes it is highly unlikely that either one of that duo will arrive in North London.
"If I am Benzema, I don't leave Real Madrid for Arsenal," he added. "Never. If Madrid want me to stay, I don't leave. Mbappe will never come to Arsenal as he will cost at least €100m and you have to break the salary cap and I don't see Arsenal doing that. Real Madrid and Barcelona are also interested so it's impossible he goes to Arsenal.
"I think Mbappe will stay for one more season as the World Cup is coming. This season he's been brilliant but he's still young. If you hear what he and his family say, he's very happy at Monaco. It's not just him – all the young players at Monaco have improved so much so I don't see him moving, unless Jardim leaves of course. If that happens, it alters a lot of players' plans."