London (AFP) – Under-fire Arsenal manager Unai Emery is still hoping to build bridges with the club’s support, but reports on Wednesday suggest the Gunners are already preparing for the Spaniard’s departure.
Emery has come under increasing pressure in his second season after a run of six games without a win.
A 2-2 draw with struggling Southampton on Saturday left them eight points adrift of the top four and 19 points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool.
On Sunday, a number of Arsenal fan groups called for “urgent action” over the “state of things” at the club.
“This is a very good but very hard job,” said Emery ahead of Thursday’s Europa League clash with Eintracht Frankfurt.
“My job is to prepare for the match, to show the best performance in front of our supporters.
“My focus is only today and tomorrow, to do all the things that we have worked on here at the training ground.
“We know our supporters were disappointed by the draw against Southampton, but we have the perfect chance to reconnect with our supporters.”
However, the BBC reported that Wolves’ manager Nuno Espirito Santo is being lined up as Emery’s replacement.
Such is the state of negativity around Emery that a planned appearance this Friday at a masterclass series at the University Campus of Football Business in London has been cancelled.
Arsenal should at least ease into the last 32 of the Europa League with a draw all they require against Frankfurt having taken 10 points from their opening four games.
However, progress in Europe is doing little to ease tensions in the Arsenal dressing room.
Lack of Champions League action and the danger of missing out again this time round has provoked newly-appointed captain Pierre Emerick Aubameyang into aborting talks over a new contract according to The Times.
Aubameyang’s reported £200,000 ($258,000) a week contract runs out at the end of next season.
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