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Wenger names possible successor

Stojkovic ideal candidate for Arsenal

By Graeme Bailey - Follow me on Twitter @graemebailey.   Last Updated: 06/02/11 9:59am

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Stojkovic: Arsenal philosophy

Stojkovic: Arsenal philosophy

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Arsene Wenger has admitted that he sees Dragan Stojkovic as the ideal candidate to succeed him at Arsenal.

"His football philosophy is almost identical to mine. Our ideas are the same and we both strive for perfect football." Quotes of the week

Talking to the Serbian media, Wenger has confirmed that he is very close to Stojkovic - who is currently in charge of Nagoya Grampus Eight, the team the Arsenal boss was with prior to moving to England.

Wenger, 61, actually signed Stojkovic as a player for Nagoya, and the Serb returned to take charge of the club in January 2008.

Wenger has kept in close contact with the 45-year-old, who he admits has an almost identical footballing philosophy to his own.

"I'd love Piksi [Stojkovic's nickname] to be my successor," he told Vecernje Novosti.

"There are a hundred reasons for that. His football philosophy is almost identical to mine. Our ideas are the same and we both strive for perfect football.

"I knew he was going to have his teams playing attacking football with many passes. He has done that, showing he will be a great coach.

"I told him that if he could transmit his football imagination to his players he would fly high."

Wenger revealed that Stojkovic, who has just won the league in Japan, is a regular visitor to England.

"Dragan comes to London at least once a year," Wenger confirmed.

"We meet up, chat and try to outsmart each other.

"It's a great achievement for him to have won a championship. I was a coach in Japan for two years and didn't manage it even though I had Piksi, who was the best player in the league, in my team."

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