Managing Arsenal is Most Attractive Role in World Football, Says Gazidis
Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis welcomed Unai Emery as his club's manager on Wednesday by claiming the Gunners' job is the "most attractive" in world football.
Emery is Arsenal's first new boss in 22 years after replacing Arsene Wenger following the Frenchman's departure at the end of the season.
The 46-year-old, who left Paris Saint Germain after winning the domestic treble this term, arrives at the Emirates Stadium with Arsenal in turmoil after a woeful season saw them finish sixth in the Premier League.
Arsenal, who haven't won the English title since 2004, trailed a massive 37 points behind champions Manchester City as they failed to qualify for the Champions League for a second successive season.
Yet,speaking at Emery's maiden press conference, Gazidis made the remarkable claim that managing Arsenal is even more attractive than taking charge at the likes of City, Spanish champions Barcelona or Champions League holders Real Madrid.
Gazidis played a key role in Emery's appointment, along with head of football relations Raul Sanllehi and head of recruitment Sven Mislintat.
The trio conducted interviews with eight candidates and Gazidis claimed Emery was their top choice amid reports Arsenal had been focused on Mikel Arteta until the Manchester City assistant apparently pulled out over concerns he wouldn't have the final say on transfers.
"We believe there is not a position in world football that is more attractive than Arsenal Football Club," Gazidis told reporters.
"Having gone through that process and series of references, and a good deal of analysis, we created a long list, an eight-person list.
"All of those eight people that we approached, that we targeted, were interested in the position.
"Those eight people took part in an extensive, in person interviews with us and none of them at any stage withdrew their interest."