Next Arsenal manager: Arsene Wenger talks up favourite Luis Enrique

James Benge
In the frame: Enrique worked with Arsenal's head of football relations Sanllehi at Barca: Getty Images

Arsene Wenger reaffirmed his desire to be left out of the process of selecting his successor but suggested Luis Enrique is of the calibre required to take the soon-to-be vacant Arsenal job.

The former Barcelona manager is the favourite to replace Wenger with Arsenal holding an advantage over any other suitors for Luis Enrique in Raul Sanllehi.

The Gunners head of football relations worked with Luis Enrique at the Camp Nou and Sanllehi will play a prominent role in picking Wenger’s successor alongside chief executive Ivan Gazidis and head of recruitment Sven Mislintat.

Wenger told Standard Sport on Sunday that he would not take part in the recruitment process and made clear he was not endorsing Luis Enrique’s candidacy.

“I have a high opinion of Luis Enrique,” Wenger said. “I do not want to influence the job for the next manager but of course I have a high opinion of him.”

He added that speculation over who would take his job when he leaves at the end of the season was “not strange”.

“I can understand that. People want to know what the future is about. For me that’s completely normal.”