Arsenal’s search for a new manager has included an interview with former Valencia and Villarreal manager Marcelino Garcia Toral.
Marcelino recently held face-to-face talks with Arsenal officials in London about becoming Unai Emery’s successor at the Emirates Stadium, according to Rodrigo Faez and Alex Kirkland of ESPN FC.
Although the 54-year-old is eager to manage the Premier League club, he’s not optimistic about his chances of receiving an offer due to his Spanish background, ESPN FC added. Emery, another Spaniard, was dismissed by Arsenal amid reported concerns about his struggles to communicate with players.
Marcelino has been out of a job since he was sacked by Valencia in September after he reportedly fell out with owner Peter Lim. He claimed that winning the Copa del Rey in May ultimately cost him his job, as Lim had supposedly directed the manager to disregard the competition and instead concentrate on performing well in La Liga.
Valencia ended up finishing fourth in La Liga, which allowed them to qualify for this season’s Champions League. They also reached the Europa Leauge semifinal, where they fell to Arsenal.
This season, Arsenal are currently being led by interim manager and former club favorite Freddie Ljungberg. On Monday, Ljungberg guided the Gunners to their first win since he took over for Emery on Nov. 29.
While Arsenal are monitoring the team’s progress under Ljungberg, they’re considering long-term options and have previously been linked with Mikel Arteta, Massimiliano Allegri, and former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino.
Former Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira, who is currently managing Nice, could also be a candidate but is reportedly not considered a front-runner.
Arsenal will attempt to win their second match under Ljungberg when they visit Standard Liege on Thursday for a chance to secure a spot in the knockout round of the Europa League.