ARSENAL are plummeting towards crisis point as their search for a new manager has hit stasis.
Emirates chiefs thought appointing Freddie Ljungberg would buy them some time to make the right appointment but the team have gone backwards since the Swede replaced sacked Unai Emery.
The Gunners are now in their worst run of form since 1977.
And there is growing fears that £60million striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could demand a move – with Real Madrid strongly linked with a bid in January.
Any move for Brendan Rodgers as new boss appears to have been blocked by the Leicester manager agreeing a new long-term contract yesterday.
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The 2-1 home defeat to Brighton on Thursday means the North Londoners have now gone nine games without a win.
Their Premier League form has flatlined and they are now seven games without victory and have slipped to 10th.
Gunners chiefs thought they could leave Ljungberg in the role until the summer.
But there are now serious question marks over his ability to manage at the very top level.
So, bosses are now in a race to appoint Emery’s permanent replacement.
Man City No2 Mikel Arteta, ex-Juventus boss Max Allegri, Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo, Napoli’s Carlo Ancelotti and ex-Spurs supremo Mauricio Pochettino remain the favourites, while any bid for Rodgers’ services will now cost them a huge compensation fee.
Due to Emery’s well-documented language problems, the Gunners are moving away from Italian Allegri as he speaks very little English.
It is a critical week for Arsenal as they visit fellow strugglers Wrest Ham on Monday, before a Europa League clash with Standard Liege and then a massive test against champions Manchester City.
The Gunners also face Chelsea and Manchester United in December.
A committee of managing director Vinai Venkatesham, head of football Raul Sanllehi, techincal dirtector Edu and chief contracts supremo Huss Fahmy will now decide who will be next Gunners boss.
Meanwhile, Aubameyang reportedly wants out.
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Arsenal must decided whether to sell him now or let him move into the final year of his contract when they will get much less for him.