Exclusive: Wolves Anxious to Extend Nuno Espirito Santo's Contract Amid Arsenal Interest
By Ben Carter
Wolves are anxious to agree terms over a new long-term contract for Nuno Espírito Santo following interest from Arsenal.
The 45-year-old has been in talks with the club for some time as they look to extend his contract beyond 2021, with Wolves currently fifth in the Premier League and guaranteed of a spot in the knockout stages of the Europa League.
Following Unai Emery's departure from Arsenal earlier this week, Nuno was one of the first names to be linked with a move to north London.
90min understands Wolves are now becoming anxious over Nuno's future at Molineux and they're now looking to up talks over a contract extension.
On top of the hefty pay rise that Wolves will offer the Portuguese manager in a new contract, Nuno will also be promised more backing in the transfer market to make further high-profile signings like João Moutinho, Rui Patrício and Raúl Jiménez.
It's understood that Nuno is currently open to the idea of succeeding Emery at Arsenal.
Elsewhere in Arsenal's managerial search, former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is considered a 'credible option' to become their next head coach, following the departure of Emery.
The Argentine left Arsenal's rivals earlier this month and was replaced by José Mourinho, with Pochettino immediately being linked with long-term suitors Manchester United and Real Madrid.
But a new report from The Athletic states that Pochettino is viewed as a 'credible option' to become Arsenal's next manager.
It's unsurprisingly noted, however, that a move for Pochettino to take over at Emirates Stadium is highly unlikely due to his past at Tottenham, something which the 47-year-old made clear during an interview last year.
"I am never going to be manager of Barcelona or Arsenal because I am so identified with Tottenham and Espanyol [Barça's rivals]," Pochettino said, quoted by talkSPORT.
"I grew up in Newell’s Old Boys and will never manage Rosario Central. That is my decision because I prefer to work on my farm in Argentina than in some places."
Although Pochettino made it clear last year that he wouldn't take over at Arsenal, it wouldn't be the first time that someone has made such a high-profile U-turn as Mourinho made similar comments about Spurs earlier in his career.
On top of Nuno and Pochettino, Brendan Rodgers at Leicester City has also been shortlisted by the club's decision-makers as they look for Emery's successor.
Rodgers is deemed to be one of Arsenal's top targets by The Mirror, although the former Liverpool manager has already tried to distance himself from rumours linking him with a move to north London.
And with Leicester City flying high in the Premier League, it's unlikely that Rodgers would jump at the chance to take what is, at this stage at least, a step back.
Those three aren't the only names who are being linked with taking over at Arsenal, as former midfielders Patrick Vieira and Mikel Arteta have been mentioned as a potential candidates.
Former Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri is also being mentioned as a potential successor to Emery in north London.
The Italian has been out of a job since he left the Bianconeri at the end of last season, being replaced in Turin by Maurizio Sarri.
But Italian football journalist David Amoyal understands that Allegri is planning to continue his sabbatical for the remainder of the season, although the 52-year-old could change his plans in a position becomes available at Manchester United.
In the short-term at least, Freddie Ljungberg will take control of Arsenal's first-team on an interim basis and he'll be in the dugout for the first time when the Gunners travel to take on Norwich City on Sunday.
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