According to various reports this morning, Wolves head coach Nuno Espirito Santo has emerged as a potential candidate to replace Unai Emery.
The Portuguese, 45, has been the main man in the Molineux dugout since May 2017 leading them to promotion to the Premier League in his first season.
His side finished 7th last season, enough to qualify for the Europa League, and they’ve been working their way through that competition since July.
His squad looked like they might struggle to juggle the extra games but have stormed up the table in recent weeks and currently sit fifth.
Espirito Santo has been coaching for seven years, starting at homeland side Rio Ave and taking on stints with Valencia and Porto. He’s not won any major honours as a coach but he is a well-connected individual.
It looks as though his connections with super agent Jorge Mendes, his representative, that form the backbone of the link with Arsenal.
Nuno became Mendes’ first client in 1996 when he brokered a move for the then goalkeeper after a chance meeting in the nightclub he owned. The deal kick-started a new career and he’s not looked back. Since founding his agency Gestifute, he’s represented compatriots Ronaldo and Jose Mourinho and been voted ‘Best Agent in the World’ on numerous occasions.
Rather than run through Mendes’ career to date, we’ll point you in the direction of this fascinating Reuters investigation that details the links between Mendes, Chinese company Fosun who own Wolves and the agent’s history of third-party ownership.
How does any of this relate to Arsenal? Our Head of Football, Raul Sanllehi, is big mates with Jorge Mendes.
Having been reluctant to work with super agents like Mendes, Mino Raiola and Kia Joorabchian, during the Arsene Wenger era, it appears we’re now more than willing to cosy up with them. In fact, Sanllehi reportedly hired Mendes to help us sign Nicolas Pepe in the summer.
The papers were quick to jump on the link when Jose Mourinho was sniffing around Unai Emery’s job a few weeks ago. It’s therefore not wholly surprising that another from the Mendes’ stable is being tipped for the role.
Mikel Arteta, Max Allegri, Patrick Vieira and a few others have also been linked to the Gunners in recent weeks with Emery overseeing the club’s worst start to a league campaign since 1982/83.