5 potential candidates to be Arsenal's new sporting director

With the Gunners keen on hiring someone to relieve the burden on outgoing boss Arsene Wenger, who would be a good fit in north London?

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The Independent Football

Arsenal are in the market for a sporting director, according to reports on Tuesday morning, as they begin to plan for the departure of all-powerful manager Arsene Wenger. 

The Gunners are looking for a new man to broker transfers, identify targets and generally steers the club's sporting policy, with chief transfer negotiator Dick Law expected to follow in David Gill's footsteps and depart alongside the manager whom he furnished with so many players over the years. 

Inevitably, the question is who could come in at Arsenal to take them in a new direction? 

So we looked at five potential candidates...


Monchi's influence can be measured in the numerous trophies won at Sevilla since his arrival (Getty)

Ramon Rodríguez Verdejo, better known as Monchi, has been the architect of Sevilla's success in recruitment, a success that has gained more widespread recognition after they sandwiched themselves between Real Madrid and Barcelona into La Liga's title race. 

Three consecutive Europa League titles probably should have done that earlier, but now the vultures are circling and Roma are known to have taken significant steps toward hiring him. 

It is not done and dusted though, and after nearly coming to England last summer with Everton, Arsenal have the chance to secure one of football's best talent evaluators. 

Dennis Bergkamp 

The Arsenal legend would no doubt be a popular choice among the fans, and has served a technical apprenticeship with Ajax 

After working with different youth teams and then as assistant manager, Bergkamp is now in a more institutional role overseeing the transition of youth players to the first team. 

That background would appeal to a club that has also just lost Andries Jonker, its academy chief. 

Michael Zorc

Dortmund's squad boasts some of the best young players in Europe (Bongarts/Getty Images)

The Borussia Dortmund man would be an ambitious hire but he has successfully assembled a squad boasting the best young talent in Europe and is suitably well-connected for the role. 

Having helped the Bundesliga side recover from losing a raft of key players, he could well be the man to assist Arsenal's rebuild after the departure of Alexis Sanchez and, perhaps, Mesut Ozil.

Then again, the smart money may be on his chief scout and heir apparent, Sven Mislintat.

Patrick Vieira

Patrick Vieira has some experience in the dugout and knows Arsenal well (Getty)

If Arsenal want someone with their club DNA then who better than their greatest ever midfielder?

Vieira has been working for Manchester City for years, first in a development role, then as Elite Development Squad manager, and now in the US coaching New York City FC.

He would have to be persuaded to leave that hands-on work for an upstairs job at the Emirates but it would be a chance for him to shape the future of the club where he made his name, which could well be more attractive than coaching an unbalanced team in an emerging league.

Jordi Cruyff

Shock candidate? Jordi Cruyff has impressed in Israel (Getty Images)

For the last five years, Jordi Cruyff has been doing brilliant work at Maccabi Tel Aviv, spending the money of Canadian billionaire Mitchell Goldhar to build a strong, competitive team playing good football.

They have attracted good players and coaches, including Oscar Garcia and Slavisa Jokanovic, winning three consecutive Israeli titles after a long drought.

It is a very different league from England, of course, but Cruyff brings great contacts and a very clear idea of how the game should be played, one he learned from his legendary father. Everton spoke to Jordi last summer before eventually appointing Steve Walsh and he could work at an even bigger club.