An Arsenal corner flag. Arsenal Women v Everton Ladies WSL football match, Meadow Park, Borehamwood, UK - 21 Apr 2019 Photo: Kate Green for The FA

German coach Lerch will not be in the running for Arsenal job after agreeing men’s switch

VfL Wolfsburg head coach Stephan Lerch will not be the man to replace Joe Montemurro at Arsenal with the German having agreed a move into the men’s game.

Montemurro is leaving The Gunners on 31 May after three-and-a-half years in charge at Meadow Park and Arsenal have recently started their search for his replacement.

VfL Wolfsburg head coach Lerch was one of the first names linked with the role with the 36-year-old set to leave last season’s UEFA Women’s Champions League runners-up at the end of the current campaign, however, the door has firmly closed on a move to the Barclays FA Women’s Super League after TSG 1899 Hoffenheim announced that he will be joining them in the summer.

Lerch will switch to the men’s game and will become the new head coach of TSG 1899 Hoffenheim’s Under-17 side in the B-Junior Bundesliga. He replaces outgoing Under-17s boss Danny Galm who brings his five-year affiliation with 1899 to an end.

Given his proud record in the women’s game, Lerch would surely have been a name mentioned by Arsenal when considering a potential replacement for Montemurro had he not moved to 1899. In addition to guiding VfL Wolfsburg to two UEFA Women’s Champions League finals, Lerch has won domestic doubles in each of his three seasons in charge.

Arsenal are hoping to announce their new head coach in advance of Montemurro’s departure with a potential start date of 1 June 2021.

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