Neymar wants Paris Saint-Germain to stick with their all-out attacking approach despite Monaco twice coming from behind to claim a thrilling 3-3 Ligue 1 draw at the Parc des Princes.

Neymar was on sparkling form, scoring twice and forcing Fode Ballo-Toure's own goal but Monaco gave as good as they got in an absorbing contest in Paris on Sunday.

Gelson Martins and Wissam Ben Yedder overturned Neymar's early opener to give Robert Moreno's Monaco the lead inside 15 minutes and Islam Slimani smuggled in another equaliser 20 minutes from time.

Neymar and Angel Di Maria flanked Mauro Icardi and Kylian Mbappe in attack but PSG's backline was frequently exposed.

Nevertheless, Neymar – the world's most expensive footballer – is backing head coach Thomas Tuchel's strategy.

"We scored three goals. I think that it worked well," Neymar told reporters.

"We have quality, we know it. I think you made a mistake with this question but I responded."

Neymar believes Sunday's test will stand PSG in good stead as they once again compete for multiple honours, with Tuchel's old employers Borussia Dortmund their last-16 opponents when the Champions League resumes next month.

"This was a very difficult match," the Brazil international added. "We knew that we were going to encounter difficulties because they have a good team, with quality.

"It was a good test. We are happy. This was not the best match of our season. We are going to improve each time to pull off a great campaign."

Monaco twice came from behind to claim a 3-3 draw in a Ligue 1 thriller against Paris Saint-Germain at the Parc des Princes on Sunday.

Gelson Martins swiftly cancelled out Neymar's early opener and Thomas Tuchel's men were behind to a fine Wissam Ben Yedder goal by the time the world's most expensive player forced a Fode Ballo-Toure own goal.

Neymar's penalty put leaders PSG ahead at the break but substitute Islam Slimani came up with a VAR-assisted leveller.

The remarkable first half burst into life inside three minutes as Neymar darted on to Marco Verratti's lofted pass to coolly finish.

Monaco refused to be cowed and Gelson slotted into an unguarded net four minutes later when Keylor Navas brought down Ben Yedder and play was allowed to continue.

Keita Balde was then booked for simulation inside the PSG area but was involved in a superb Monaco second, exchanging one-twos with Aleksandr Golovin down the left before finding Ben Yedder to brilliantly beat Juan Bernat and fire home.

Navas saved with his boot to stop Balde making it 3-1 and that moment seemingly shocked PSG back into life. Ballo-Toure turned Neymar's shot from Angel Di Maria's pass into his own net and it was all square once more.

Monaco captain Kamil Glik headed Cesc Fabregas' left-wing corner against the near post before PSG regained the lead in the 42nd minute – Neymar sending Benjamin Lecomte the wrong way after a panicked Gelson clattered into Kylian Mbappe.

Lecomte stood firm to thwart Neymar at close quarters nine minutes into a second half where the pace somewhat inevitably relented.

Monaco hung in the contest and snatched a disputed equaliser 20 minutes from time.

Slimani was flagged offside when he scrambled home the rebound from Gelson's shot, but replays showed Marquinhos got a touch on the ball before it ran towards the on-loan Leicester City striker.

Navas tipped over to deny Slimani an unlikely winner before Neymar's sumptuous chipped pass in stoppage time gave Mbappe the chance to claim an outright club record of scoring in an 11th consecutive PSG match, but the striker sliced wide.

What does it mean? PSG's chin tested after Robert's Monaco came out swinging

PSG dropped points for only the fourth time this season, leaving them five points ahead of Marseille at the summit with a game in hand. This high-class encounter should do them little harm as attentions begin to turn back towards the Champions League, while Monaco are in the hunt for a return to European football and look to have some of their old swagger back under Robert Moreno.

Neymar shows style and substance

Injuries and the saga over his long-term club future have provided a less-than-ideal backdrop to Neymar's third season in Paris. But he has now scored in each of his past seven matches in all competitions – a run dating back to December 4. The Brazil star was unplayable at times and the sight of him charging back to his own box to break up a Monaco counter-attack with an hour played heartened the Parc des Princes faithful.

Verratti fails to stem the tide

Italy international Verratti showed his undoubted quality with the pass for Neymar's opener but his other role in Tuchel's expansive attacking line-up is to help protect the back four. Too often, he came up woefully short in this department against a vibrant Monaco, not least when Gelson's deft spin left him on the turf in the build-up to Slimani's equaliser.

What's next

These two sides will do it all again in their rescheduled Stade Louis II clash on Wednesday. Sunday's evidence in Paris certainly suggested it will not be one to miss.

Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel is overjoyed at the impact Mauro Icardi has had since joining on loan from Inter.

Icardi left Inter under something of a cloud, as his relationship with the club was said to have become increasingly strained after a frustrating season in which he scored only 11 Serie A goals.

He was then frozen out by new coach Antonio Conte and the striker eventually secured an exit on September 1, joining PSG on an initial loan deal for the 2019-20 campaign.

Since moving to Paris, the 26-year-old has found his mojo once again, scoring nine times in 11 Ligue 1 matches, helping to form a formidable front four with compatriot Angel Di Maria, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.

A hat-trick in the 6-1 Coupe de la Ligue win over Saint-Etienne on Wednesday was Icardi's most recent contribution, taking him to nine goals in his past 10 matches across all competitions, though Tuchel did not wish to discuss the purchase option that is reportedly set at €65million.

"I'm very impressed with Mauro Icardi," Tuchel told reporters ahead of Sunday's Ligue 1 meeting with Monaco.

"I met him here for the first time. The guy is super reliable and very, very professional. He understands football tactically, works defensively and is very, very efficient.

"His work and his reliability for the team is very impressive, but I don't want to talk about the purchase option."

The attacking unit of Icardi, Neymar, Mbappe and Di Maria has been dubbed the 'Fantastic Four', and Tuchel is impressed by their thirst for work, which he believes is vital for their tactical system to succeed.

"We are more reliable and beefier than in 2019," Tuchel said. "Our team has matured with the recruitment of the pre-season.

"There is a good frame of mind. We have a great team with healthy competition and I want to maintain this good level.

"We attack together and we defend together. This is perhaps one of the most beautiful things in football. A team cannot win with five players. The best level requires playing as a team.

"If you want to play 4-4-2, there are a lot of things to do and spaces to protect. Everyone has to do what is necessary and the players are doing it at the moment.

"With 4-4-2, the sides have to be more careful about defensive replacement than when playing in 4-3-3.

"I want players who are free to attack, but who also protect the spaces. I'm asking of my offensive players that they try to chase the ball in order to achieve a high pressure and recover the ball quickly.

"We have players capable of doing this counter-pressing. Neymar is smart enough to do it, Mauro Icardi or Angel Di Maria and Pablo Sarabia, too. We always find the best possible mix for us to keep this balance."

One story is dominating the sporting agenda in Spain on Saturday: Xavi's potential return to Barcelona.

The Catalan giants have reportedly earmarked the club great to take over from the under-pressure Ernesto Valverde at the end of the season, and held informal discussions with him on Friday in Doha.

Xavi, 39, is currently coach at Al Sadd but would likely relish a return to Camp Nou, where he won eight LaLiga titles and four Champions League trophies during a glittering playing career.

A strong affinity with a club is not a guarantee of success, however, and we have taken a look at eight other examples of players returning to manage teams they starred for.

 

HITS

Pep Guardiola

After leaving Barcelona as a player in 2001, Guardiola returned as the Barca B boss in 2007 before being promoted to head coach of the first team a year later. Over four years in charge at Camp Nou he led the Blaugrana to 14 trophies, including three LaLiga titles and two Champions League crowns. Success has continued to come Guardiola's way with Bayern Munich and Manchester City.

Zinedine Zidane

World Cup winner Zidane was part of Real Madrid's 'Galacticos' in the early 2000s and he finished his playing career at the Santiago Bernabeu. Like Guardiola, he returned to oversee the second team before stepping up to the top job after the departure of Rafael Benitez in January 2016. Zidane went on to win an unprecedented three successive Champions League titles with Madrid before stepping away in May 2018, only to return 10 months later.

Antonio Conte

In 13 seasons as a player for Juventus, Conte won almost everything there is to win – five league titles, the Coppa Italia, the Champions League and the UEFA Cup. He moved into management two years after retiring and worked his way back to Juve after spells with Arezzo, Bari, Atalanta and Siena. Juve won three straight Scudetti under Conte – the start of their ongoing dominance – before he accepted the Italy job. He is now back in Serie A and thriving with the Old Lady's bitter rivals Inter.

Roberto Di Matteo

Like Lampard, Di Matteo accepted the top job at Chelsea in 2012, having previously been assistant to Andre Villas-Boas. Di Matteo – who won the FA Cup twice with the Blues as a player – went on to lift two trophies as Chelsea boss, including their first Champions League title with a penalty shoot-out win over Bayern Munich, but he was discarded early in the following season.

MISSES

Alan Shearer

Record Premier League goalscorer, Newcastle United legend and lethal England striker – Shearer's playing career was full of success. When he retired in 2006, Shearer moved into television as a pundit, but when the Magpies came calling in 2009 he stepped in to try and save them from relegation. Sadly for Shearer he was unsuccessful, his eight-game reign ending in Newcastle slipping out of the top flight after a 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa on the final day.

Filippo Inzaghi

Employing former players as head coaches had previously worked well for AC Milan – Fabio Capello and Carlo Ancelotti proving particularly successful. When the Rossoneri turned to Inzaghi in 2014 after Clarence Seedorf's brief tenure, the move was therefore no surprise. However, the former striker – who won eight major trophies at the club in his playing days – flopped, winning 14 of his 40 matches in charge as Milan finished 10th, their worst league finish in 17 years.

Thierry Henry

Henry made his name at Monaco after breaking into the first team in 1994, the forward going on to become a world champion and a Premier League icon with Arsenal. After a period as youth coach with the Gunners, Henry was named as Belgium boss Roberto Martinez's assistant. Permanent roles with Bordeaux and Aston Villa were mooted, but in October 2018 Henry chose Monaco. He lasted just three months, losing 11 of his 20 matches in charge across all competitions before being replaced by Leonardo Jardim, the man he had succeeded.

Juan Jose Lopez

One of the most decorated players in River Plate history, having won seven league titles in an 11-year spell, Lopez was a popular appointment after making a strong impact in his second period as caretaker manager in 2010. However, he subsequently presided over a poor 2011 Clausura campaign, forcing River into a play-off against Belgrano, who won 3-1 on aggregate. It was the first time River dropped out of the top tier, sparking riots which left many people injured.

Paris Saint-Germain will travel to Lorient in the last 32 of the Coupe de France.

Last season's runners-up PSG were handed a trip to Ligue 2 Lorient, who play on an artificial pitch, in Monday's draw.

Thomas Tuchel rested Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, Mauro Icardi and Keylor Navas but his team still ran out 6-0 winners against Linas-Montlhery in the round of 64 on Sunday.

Marseille only got past Trellisac on penalties and their reward was a trip to National 2 outfit Granville, while Lyon will travel to Nantes in an all-Ligue 1 clash.

A last-gasp goal from Keita Balde Diao in Robert Moreno's first game at the helm ensured Monaco remained in the hat. They will travel to fourth-tier side Saint-Pryve Saint Hilaire, conquerors of Toulouse in the previous round.

Reunion's Saint-Pierroise, the only overseas team left in the draw, were handed a trip to National 2 team Epinal after an 18,000-kilometre round trip to Niort ended with a shock 2-1 victory.

Robert Moreno got off to a victorious start as Monaco coach thanks to Benjamin Lecomte's late penalty save and Keita Balde Diao's 95th-minute winner in a Coupe de France clash against Reims.

Former Spain boss Moreno replaced Leonardo Jardim last week and began his tenure with a dramatic 2-1 triumph in the last-64 encounter at the Stade Louis II.

Keita headed home a cross from Wissam Ben Yedder after a goalless first half but Boulaye Dia restored parity in the 69th minute.

Reims were awarded a penalty when Adrien Silva fouled Hassane Kamara with six minutes left on the clock, but Lecomte kept out Moussa Doumbia from the spot.

Keita made the most of the reprieve, controlling Aleksandr Golovin's corner and rifling a crisp finish into the bottom-right corner with practically the last kick of the game.

Monaco return to Ligue 1 action a week on Sunday when they travel to Paris Saint-Germain, who visit the principality three days later.

Robert Moreno wants to put his departure as Spain boss and subsequent fallout with Luis Enrique behind him after being unveiled as the new head coach of Ligue 1 side Monaco.

The 42-year-old served as an assistant for La Roja until Luis Enrique stepped down in June to care for his young daughter Xana, who died in August following a battle with bone cancer.

Moreno took charge permanently at that point and oversaw Spain's qualification for Euro 2020, but Luis Enrique returned in November and did not appoint his former deputy to his staff due to an apparent disagreement.

The former Barcelona boss accused Moreno of being "disloyal" last month, claims the latter described as "ugly and unfair".

Speaking two days on from being appointed as Leonardo Jardim's successor at Monaco, Moreno - who previously worked with Luis Enrique at Roma, Celta Vigo and Barcelona - was keen to draw a line under the matter.

"I spent nine wonderful years at his side," he said at Monday's unveiling news conference. "I only have thanks. What happened a few weeks ago is already in the past.

"I have been a coach for 28 years. Since I was 14, I have been training and now the important thing is this presentation. The past is there, but you have to leave it behind."

Moreno has never previously managed a professional club but insists he is aware of what it requires to be successful.

"I have always been involved in the whole training process," he said. "I used to do all that before, so my processes will not change.

"I will give the talks, analyse the opposition, talk to my players. I am used to this.

"We all want to win and to achieve the best for the club. Our main objective here must be to improve every day. If we do that we will be able to reach our main aims."

Moreno's first game in charge is a Coupe de France clash with Reims on Saturday, before returning to Ligue 1 action with a trip to Paris Saint-Germain the following weekend.

Monaco have been tipped to bolster their squad ahead in the January transfer window, but the new coach was unwilling to discuss any specific targets.

"I will not make it public - that would be disrespectful to my players," he said. "Monaco have a large squad but we have to be attentive to the market to find good players.

"But I am not going to highlight particular positions [to strengthen] in public."

Monaco have sacked head coach Leonardo Jardim for the second time in just over a year and replaced him with former Spain boss Robert Moreno.

Jardim was reappointed by the Ligue 1 club in January, three months after first being dismissed, but results in 2019 have been mixed.

Pressure had recently been building on Jardim, who previously led Monaco to the French title and a Champions League semi-final in 2017, after last week's 3-0 home loss to Lille in the last 16 of the Coupe de la Ligue.

Monaco confirmed on their official website on Saturday that the 45-year-old has been dismissed with immediate effect and Moreno installed in his place on a deal that runs through until 2022.

Moreno has never previously managed a club at professional level, with his only previous top-level experience coming with the Spain senior side earlier this year.

He took temporary charge of La Roja in March when Luis Enrique – who he had worked as assistant to at Roma, Celta Vigo and Barcelona – stepped down for personal reasons.

Moreno was handed the job on a permanent basis in June after impressing in his caretaker role, but Luis Enrique returned five months later after qualification for Euro 2020 had been sealed.

The Spaniard will take charge of Monaco training next week ahead of the Coupe de France clash with Reims on January 4, with his first Ligue 1 game a rearranged meeting with champions Paris Saint-Germain the following weekend.

Monaco have high expectations and a mid-table position just will not cut it for the principality club.

Pressure may have eased on Leonardo Jardim after his inconsistent team thrashed Lille on Saturday, but fresh reports claim Monaco are looking at options for a new head coach.

Could Unai Emery - a Ligue 1 winner with Paris Saint-Germain but a disappointment at Arsenal - be just the man for the job?

 

TOP STORY - EMERY SET FOR DUGOUT RETURN?

Monaco are reportedly hunting for a new boss as Jardim's future looks bleak with the Monegasque club, and Emery is said to be a target.

According to Le 10 Sport, Monaco officials are considering former Valencia boss Marcelino and ex-PSG and France head coach Laurent Blanc.

A third coach reported to be interesting Monaco is Emery, who was sacked by Arsenal last month after a dismal run of form with the Premier League side.

The Spaniard would bring experience of French football after his time at PSG, with Sevilla and Valencia also among his former teams.

Monaco sit seventh in Ligue 1 this term, with Jardim handed a welcome boost when his team produced a shock 5-1 win over Lille at the weekend.

ROUND-UP

- Barcelona are looking to loan out two of their brightest young talents to improve their prospects of first-team action, according to Marca. The Spanish newspaper says 21-year-old midfielder Carles Alena could go to Real Betis or Getafe, and that 19-year-old centre-back Jean-Clair Todibo is interesting Bayer Leverkusen along with other clubs from Germany and Italy.

- Arturo Vidal could be another player on the move from Barcelona, with Inter said to be targeting a deal for the 32-year-old Chilean. A four-time Serie A winner with Juventus, Vidal's role at Barcelona has become reduced this season and a Camp Nou departure looks a sensible solution. La Gazzetta dello Sport reports Inter are lining up a bid of €12million. Inter boss Antonio Conte knows Vidal well from their time together at Juventus, whom Inter are battling with for the Scudetto this term.

- Arsenal are keeping a close eye on Lyon's former Celtic striker Moussa Dembele, according to Le 10 Sport. If Arsenal lose Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang or Alexandre Lacazette, the report says Dembele would be a prime target for the Gunners, whose hopes of qualifying for next season's Champions League appear slim after a shabby first half of the Premier League season. Mikel Arteta has just taken the Emirates Stadium reins.

- Thomas Tuchel could soon be on the lookout for a new PSG assistant, with reports from Germany claiming his Hungarian number two Zsolt Low is a possible target for Stuttgart. Tim Walter lost his job with the Bundesliga second division team on Monday. The Stuttgarter Nachrichten reports the club, whose chief executive is former Aston Villa, Everton and Germany midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger, have former Leipzig assistant boss Low in mind but have yet to approach any candidate.

Mikel Arteta officially started work at Arsenal on Sunday and appears set to get busy in the transfer market.

The Gunners reportedly have two targets in their sights, including a Serie A star.

Arsenal could do with an injection of excitement after slipping to 11th in the Premier League following their lacklustre goalless draw at Everton.

 

TOP STORY – GUNNERS EYE MERTENS AND VOLLAND

Among the players Arsenal admire is Napoli mainstay Dries Mertens, according to CalcioMercato.

Mertens, on target five times in the Champions League this term, will be available on a free at the end of the season.

Borussia Dortmund are also said to be interested in the 32-year-old, potentially forcing Arsenal to look elsewhere for reinforcements.

That could result in them launching a bid for Kevin Volland. Sky Sports News says the Gunners have sent scouts to watch the Bayer Leverkusen forward and will put his name to new boss Arteta for consideration.

 

ROUND-UP

- Paolo Maldini's position as Milan technical director is "in the balance" following the embarrassing 5-0 loss to Atalanta, claims CalcioMercato. The Rossoneri are languishing in 11th.

- Manchester United and multiple Bundesliga clubs are tracking teenage Birmingham City midfielder Jude Bellingham, reports The Telegraph.

- German newspaper Bild believes goalkeeper Alexander Nubel will join Bayern Munich at the end of the season after announcing his decision to leave Schalke on a free. According to Sport1, his arrival at Allianz Arena could lead to Sven Ulreich's exit.

- Ligue 1 side Monaco have identified Marcelo Gallardo, Laurent Blanc and Marcelino as potential replacements for the under-pressure Leonardo Jardim, according to L'Equipe.

- Juventus outcast Mario Mandzukic is set to seal a switch from the Serie A champions to Qatari side Al-Duhail, reports Sky Sport Italia.

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba is coveted at the Santiago Bernabeu.

His French connection with Zinedine Zidane means there is constant speculation.

However, Pogba is set to remain at United for the time being.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID GIVE UP ON POGBA… FOR NOW

LaLiga giants Real Madrid will not sign Manchester United star Paul Pogba in January, according to Mundo Deportivo.

Pogba – still recovering from injury – continues to be linked with Madrid amid doubts over his United future.

Madrid, however, recognise there is "no chance" of prising the Frenchman from Old Trafford in the New Year.

 

ROUND-UP

- A return to Chelsea for Bournemouth's Nathan Ake looks likely, claims Bleacher Report. Chelsea have a £40million buyback clause for Ake, who left Stamford Bridge permanently in 2017. Manchester City have also been linked to the 24-year-old defender.

- Barcelona defender Jean-Clair Todibo has turned down a move to Milan, reports RMC. The 19-year-old has also been linked to Ligue 1 outfit Monaco and Premier League giants Manchester United.

- Qatari outfit Al Rayyan have re-opened talks with Juventus regarding the transfer of out-of-favour striker Mario Mandzukic, according to Gianluca Di Marzio. United and Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund are also reportedly interested in the veteran Croatian.

Napoli have offered Dries Mertens a two-year contract extension, says Sky Sport Italia. The Belgian, who is out of contract at season's end, has been the subject of reported interest from Dortmund.

- Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain want to swap Leandro Paredes for Juventus midfielder Emre Can, reports the Daily Mail.

- La Nazione says Fiorentina are looking to bring former Milan striker Patrick Cutrone back to Serie A. The Italian left San Siro for Premier League side Wolves at the start of the season.

- Former Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta is in talks to join Javier Mascherano at Argentine outfit Estudiantes. Iniesta currently plays for Vissel Kobe in Japan, however, TNT Sports claims the 35-year-old midfielder could move in 2020.

Arsene Wenger's legacy in world football is very apparent, with the number of his former players who are becoming managers rising all the time.

The latest addition to an ever-growing list is Mikel Arteta, who has been appointed as Arsenal's successor to Unai Emery.

Arteta spent five years playing under Wenger at Emirates Stadium, winning a couple of FA Cups during that time.

The Spaniard has a tough task on his hands as he prepares to take over an Arsenal side lying 10th and seven points adrift of the top four in the Premier League.

As Arteta prepares to begin his new venture, we take a look at how other Wenger proteges managed when they swapped the pitch for the dugout.

 

TONY ADAMS

A four-time champion in England's top flight and Arsenal's captain fantastic in Wenger's early years in charge, Adams has not quite matched those lofty standards as a coach.

He had a year at Wycombe Wanderers and a little over three months at Portsmouth, with both spells pretty miserable. When Granada came calling in April 2017 in a desperate bid to avoid relegation from LaLiga, Adams took charge for seven matches and lost all of them.

SOL CAMPBELL

Campbell was another centre-back extraordinaire under Wenger after his acrimonious move from Tottenham, and was only converted to the world of management in November 2018.

The 45-year-old chose a real challenge for his first appointment, taking over Macclesfield Town, who were languishing bottom of League Two before Campbell steered them to a great escape.

He left the financially stricken club in August of this year and has now taken on another ambitious project in the form of League One strugglers Southend United, who have just seven points from 21 matches this term.

REMI GARDE

He only spent three years playing under Wenger before retiring in 1999, winning the Premier League the year before, but it was not until 2011 that Garde took up his first head coach role with Lyon.

Under Garde, Lyon won the Coupe de France in 2012 and the Trophee des Champions in the same year, before he took over at Aston Villa in November 2015. He only lasted until the following March. He was most recently in charge of Montreal Impact before being sacked in August.

OLEG LUZHNY

Luzhny won a Premier League title under Wenger before stints with Wolves and Latvian side Venta, where he became player-coach for a spell in 2005.

After hanging up his boots for good, the former Ukraine international became assistant at Dynamo Kiev and was twice interim head coach before landing the top job at Tavriya Simferopol in 2012. He is now back in Kiev as an assistant again.

PAUL MERSON

Although his finest years as a Gunner preceded Wenger's arrival, Merson did play under the Frenchman for a year before he had spells with Middlesbrough, Aston Villa and Portsmouth.

After joining as a player in 2003, Merson became Walsall manager a year later, but constant line-up changes and supporter unrest led to him being sacked after a 5-0 thrashing by Brentford in February 2006. He is now a television pundit and columnist in the UK.

DAVID PLATT

Platt was approaching the end of a storied career when Wenger took over and the midfielder left after the manager's first two years in charge. He was briefly Sampdoria boss but resigned after six matches, with other Serie A clubs angry that he was appointed without coaching qualifications.

A player-manager spell with Nottingham Forest followed, before three years in charge of England Under-21s. After three years on Manchester City's staff, he spent a year in India with Pune City, and is now part of a consortium that has bought Palermo.

GIOVANNI VAN BRONCKHORST

Van Bronckhorst won the Premier League and FA Cup under Wenger before leaving for four successful years with Barcelona in 2003 - a spell that included a Champions League final triumph over the Gunners. He then returned to boyhood club Feyenoord, finishing his career in 2010.

After a year in charge of Netherlands' Under-21 team, he went back to Feyenoord and worked as assistant coach for four years before taking the top job in 2015. Five domestic trophies – including an Eredivisie title – followed before he departed after the 2018-19 campaign, and he has been tipped for big things. 

PATRICK VIEIRA

An inspirational skipper under Wenger and the leader during a time when Arsenal were at the forefront of English football battling Manchester United. 

Vieira went on to have spells with Juventus, Inter and Manchester City before turning his hand to coaching with New York City, where he spent two years before returning to France to coach Nice. He led the club to seventh last term but they find themselves in 14th after 18 matches so far this campaign.

THIERRY HENRY

Arguably the greatest player to have featured under Wenger for the Gunners, Henry is a Premier League great who became Arsenal's all-time record goalscorer before treading a familiar path to Barcelona.

He later returned to north London for a short loan spell from New York Red Bulls and was appointed assistant coach to Roberto Martinez with Belgium in 2016.

Henry's first stint as a head coach was a disappointing one, winning just four of 20 matches in charge of Monaco – the club where he started his playing career. The France legend will hope for more success in his new venture with Montreal Impact.

Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim insists he remains calm over his future at the Ligue 1 club, despite his position seemingly being under threat.

Jardim is in his second spell in charge of Monaco, having previously guided the side to the league title and a Champions League semi-final in 2016-17.

His first stint came to an end in October 2018, when he was sacked with Monaco languishing in the lower reaches of Ligue 1.

However, Jardim was back at the club in January, replacing his successor Thierry Henry, who had failed to improve results.

Monaco sit ninth in Ligue 1 after 17 games in 2019-20, having won seven matches and suffered six defeats, leading to reports that Jardim is in line to lose his position.

Yet the 45-year-old claims he is not feeling the pressure and does not need the public support of Monaco's board or the media. 

"It's an issue that concerns all coaches. All coaches are in danger. I'm not the one who should be taking stock," Jardim told a news conference ahead of Monaco's meeting with Lille on Saturday.

"It's my job and my staff's job to work every week to achieve our goals. I'm calm all year round.

"I didn't come here with a bottle of champagne when we qualified for the Champions League semi-finals or when we'd just won the trophy. We stayed on the podium four years in a row.

"Today, I'm not coming here with my head down either. It's my work and my personality. I've been in the job for 20 years now. I don't need to have a pat on the back by the board every week telling me that they love what I am doing.

"The board asked me to come back. I serve the club. We're in the process of building a new team. It is enough for me. I do not need the media or the board to give me a pat on the back."

Monaco midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko, meanwhile, says it is the players who must improve, not Jardim.

"It's a shame! The fan shouldn’t ask for Jardim's resignation because we are the ones on the pitch. The players are the biggest culprits," Bakayoko said.

"The coach did amazing things for the club and proved himself already and we didn't return the favour on the pitch. It's a shame but I can understand the fans as we did offer a very poor performance [in a 3-0 loss to Lille in the Coupe de la Ligue].

"I can understand that the fans are lacking patience. We are all supporting the coach. We are the main culprits; we are not doing enough.

"We can obviously hear everything that is being said about the coach. We're all behind him. The best way to support him is to win games and perform well on the pitch."

Monaco have won the race to sign highly-rated teenage defender Strahinja Pavlovic from Partizan Belgrade.

The 18-year-old, a 6ft 4in centre-back, has been a first-team regular for Partizan this year and has made 55 senior appearances for the club.

Partizan sit second in the Serbian top flight, the Super Liga, and will retain Pavlovic on loan for the rest of the season.

Both clubs confirmed the deal on Wednesday, with Monaco saying: "Monaco announces it has reached agreement with Partizan Belgrade for the transfer of Strahinja Pavlovic during the winter transfer window.

"This agreement provides for the loan of the young Serbia Under-21 international defender to Partizan Belgrade until June 2020."

Celtic, Lazio, Juventus and Ajax were among the clubs to have been linked with Pavlovic in recent months.

In Monaco, he joins a club with a reputation for nurturing young talent and providing a stepping stone to a higher level.

Arsenal appear to have strengthened their interest in Nuno Espirito Santo.

Just over two weeks after dismissing Unai Emery, the Gunners are reportedly ready to hold talks with one of the top contenders to take over at Emirates Stadium.

But the Portuguese is not alone when it comes to candidates with Premier League experience.

 

TOP STORY – GUNNERS STEP UP NUNO CHASE

Arsenal will ask Wolves for permission to conduct formal discussions with Nuno next week, according to the Daily Mail.

The north Londoners are reportedly ready to "set to accelerate their interest" in the 45-year-old former Valencia and Porto head coach.

Belgium boss Robert Martinez is also said to have been approached, while Mauricio Pochettino, Mikel Arteta and Patrick Vieira continue to be linked.

Freddie Ljungberg has overseen two draws, a defeat and a solitary victory since taking charge on an interim basis.

ROUND-UP

- Like his former employers, ex-Arsenal boss Emery will not be rushed into a decision on his next move. Marca says the Spaniard has turned down the chance to speak to two Chinese clubs and managerless Everton since becoming a free agent on November 29.

- Premier League champions Manchester City hope to bring wantaway winger Jadon Sancho back to the Etihad Stadium after losing him to Borussia Dortmund in 2017, reports the Daily Mail.

- On the outer at Chelsea, Olivier Giroud appears to be moving closer to the Stamford Bridge exit door. L'Equipe claims the France striker is close to agreeing personal terms on a January switch to Inter, where he would reunite with Antonio Conte.

- Serie A side Milan will be offered the chance to sign Luka Jovic on loan from Real Madrid in January, according to Tuttomercatoweb.

- Barcelona will listen to offers of €10million for teenage defender Jean-Clair Todibo, reports Mundo Deportivo. The Spanish newspaper claims Bayer Leverkusen, Milan, Monaco, Southampton and Watford have submitted bids.

- Real Betis have sealed a deal to sign former Atletico Madrid winger Yannick Carrasco from Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang, according to Deportes Cuatro.

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