Arsenal wanted top coach more than a year ago

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Arsenal announced on Monday that Andries Jonker would become the head of their youth academy in the summer and, according to Louis van Gaal, Arsene Wenger had enquired about the Dutch coach more than a year ago.

The Premier League leaders have been after a new academy director since Liam Brady announced his intention to relinquish the position, and Jonker will work alongside the former Arsenal player before taking full control at the end of the season.

Jonker, 51, is currently assistant coach at Bundesliga side Wolfsburg and has held numerous coach positions over the course of his career, including working extensively on development with the KNVB.

Van Gaal employed Jonker as among his staff during spells as the manager of both Barcelona and Bayern Munich and, according to the current Netherlands boss, Arsenal have been after his compatriot for some time.

Wenger, the Daily Mail reports, has considered Jonker as a potential Arsenal man for some time and was in touch with Van Gaal over 12 months ago to get an assessment on the ex-Bayern II manager.

Jonker is, however, reported to be seen as an appointment by Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis rather than a Wenger choice.

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