The Daily Mail reported on Friday evening that “only an unexpected glitch in negotiations” would prevent Luis Enrique from becoming the next Arsenal manager.
The Mail’s report adds that talks are at an advanced stage as the Gunners look to appoint Arsene Wenger’s successor.
It was on Friday morning that the club confirmed that Wenger will leave at the end of the season, bringing to an end a glorious 22-year reign.
Comparisons have been drawn to Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure from Manchester United in 2013, but there are differences between the circumstances of the two Premier League clubs.
Fergie left Old Trafford after leading them to a 13th league title, and so the Red Devils were hoping David Moyes could continue to win major trophies.
Arsenal, on the other hand, have been on the decline for some years now and need someone to make them competitive once again.
If the Mail’s report on Enrique to Arsenal is correct, though, the sky really is the limit for the Gunners under the 47-year-old.
Messi to Arsenal
The newspaper claims that under Enrique, Arsenal will be “very much in pole position” to sign Lionel Messi if the Argentina star decides to leave Barcelona for the Premier League.
April Fools' Day was a few weeks ago, guys.
Enrique and Messi worked together at Barcelona but to suggest that Arsenal would be ahead of their rivals in the running to sign the five-time Ballon d’Or winner - who hasn’t shown concrete evidence that he even wants to leave the Camp Nou - is utterly ridiculous.
Needless to say, football fans on Twitter are laughing at the Mail’s comment.
Enrique, who managed Barcelona for three seasons between 2014 and 2017, enjoyed great success with Messi in Catalonia.
Together they won two La Liga titles, the Champions League in 2014-15 and the Copa del Rey in three straight seasons.
But Arsenal would be considered a downgrade for Enrique - and it’s incredible to think that Messi would be willing to make that switch.
Enrique is currently on a sabbatical after leaving Barcelona at the end of the 2016-17 campaign but he reportedly dined with Arsenal’s new director of football relations, Raul Sanllehi, at a London club recently.