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Antonio Conte has distanced himself from reports that he is the favourite to replace Mikel Arteta as manager of Arsenal.
The current Gunners boss has endured a difficult start to the new Premier League season, suffering back-to-back losses to newly promoted Brentford and London rivals Chelsea.
It is also the first time that Arsenal are not involved in Europe since 1996 after finishing in a lowly eighth place last campaign.
The Spaniard has five games to prove himself or face the sack, according to reports.
The Gunners board are reportedly unwilling to endure another season of patience and have given Arteta until the October international break to turn things around.
And now the Independent are claiming first choice replacement Antonio Conte has distanced himself from the job.
The report states: "Those close to Antonio Conte insist he has little interest in taking over.
"He just doesn't think he could compete with the team as it is."
Is Conte right to distance himself from the manager's position at Arsenal? Let us know in the comments section
It's a devastating blow for Arsenal. The 52-year-old is a serial winner having championed Juventus, Chelsea and Inter Milan to league titles during his managerial career.
Though his reluctance to take over is not surprising as the Italian rejected north London rivals Tottenham in similar circumstances over the summer.
Spurs failed to give Conte assurances that he would be given the necessary financial backing to turn them into title contenders.
The former Blues boss has been out of work after parting ways with Inter Milan at the end of last season.
Having won the Nerrazurri's first Scudetto since 2010, the Serie A winners could not afford to build on Conte's title-winning team due to financial difficulties and both parties agreed to mutually terminate his contract.
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- Arsenal FC
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