Arsenal staff reportedly believe it is a matter of when – not if – under-fire coach Unai Emery is sacked after a disappointing run of results.
Pressure is mounting on the Spaniard after Saturday’s 2-2 home draw with struggling Southampton extending their winless run to six matches in all competitions.
Goal quoted a club source claiming that staff at the north London club were waiting to be told he has been dismissed.
Arsenal manager Unai Emery is under huge pressure after a winless run of six matches
‘It’s about results and we are not getting them,’ the source said. ‘It just feels like a matter of time.’
Arsenal have began identifying possible replacements for Emery amid fears their top stars will be forced to consider their futures if he remains in charge next season.
Former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino, Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo and former Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta, now Pep Guardiola’s No 2 at Manchester City, have been linked with the hot seat.
Sportsmail understands head of football Raul Sanllehi and technical director Edu held crisis talks with beleaguered boss Emery in the tunnel area of the Emirates Stadium following Saturday’s disappointing 2-2 draw against Southampton amid major doubts from inside club about the Spaniard’s position.
Arsenal fear their top stars will be forced to consider their futures if Unai Emery stays
And the growing concerns that have engulfed Emery’s reign, which has led club officials to start identifying replacements, is partly borne out of fears over their key players’ long-term futures.
Members of the squad have serious concerns over Emery’s methods. Many believe he is too conservative in his approach to games and fear his philosophy will cost them a chance of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.
The Gunners hierarchy believe those reservations will lead players to consider leaving the Emirates.
The Gunners are now five Premier League games without a win after drawing to Southampton
Key strike pairing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette are both in talks over new deals – but neither, thus far, have shown an eagerness to sign.
Both are understandably keen to play Champions League football but the way Arsenal are performing under Emery at the moment, there appears little hope of achieving that goal.
And there are real concerns that a further slide down the table will only serve to force other players to question their futures at the Emirates.
It is understood Gunners would be forced to pay at least £4million in compensation to sack Emery before the end of the season – though his staff would also be entitled to pay-offs which would increase that package.
Raul Sanllehi (L) and Edu held crisis talks with Emery following Saturday’s disappointing draw