• Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger signed a two-year deal at the Emirates last summer.
  • Conte's future at Chelsea remains uncertain as he may be heading for an exit after this season.

Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson wants the Gunners to replace Arsene Wenger with Antonio Conte after the end of the season, if the Italian coach decides to leave Chelsea.

The former Juventus manager arrived in the Premier League in the summer of 2016. In his debut season in England, the 48-year-old helped the west London club win the league title while losing the FA Cup to Wenger's side.

Conte has failed to replicate last season's form as the Blues have failed to challenge for the title this term. Chelsea are now fourth in the table with 50 points after 26 games, trailing leaders Manchester City by 19 points. They are, however, five points ahead of sixth place Arsenal.

The English champions have endured a poor run since the turn of the year in all competitions. They have managed only two wins in the last 10 matches, which include a 2-1 aggregate defeat at the hands of Arsenal in the Carabao Cup semi-final.

Conte's future at the Stamford Bridge beyond this season remains uncertain. Wenger will have one year left on his contract in the summer and Merson wants Arsenal to let the Frenchman go and replace him with the current Chelsea manager.

"The day Conte leaves Chelsea, if I was Arsenal, I'd be straight on the phone. Managers like Conte don't come along too often," Merson told Sky Sports.

"Arsenal need someone that is going to go in there and upset people. Conte upsets people. He wants you to play a certain way and he'll make you rock solid at the back. As soon as Arsenal get rock solid at the back, they'll be a force.

"I think Arsenal would say: 'we'd have you next season'. I think they'd be mad if they didn't.

"I think it ticks all the boxes. Arsenal can't keep missing all these managers. You can't tell me Pep Guardiola wouldn't want to have managed Arsenal? If he had that opportunity, he'd have gone to Arsenal in my opinion.

"Jurgen Klopp, Jose Mourinho, they all went to Arsenal's rivals because Wenger was sat there in the manager's seat instead of saying the time was right to leave.

"There are other top managers like Massimiliano Allegri at Juventus, but he might come in and it would take him a year to get used to the Premier League - like it did with Klopp."

Antonio Conte
Antonio Conte's long-term future at Chelsea remains uncertain Getty Images