Express & Star

Braga boss: Nuno deserves to be linked with Arsenal

Braga boss Ricardo Sa Pinto believes Nuno deserves to be linked with Arsenal but fears for friend Unai Emery's future.


Gunners manager Emery is under huge pressure following Saturday's 2-2 draw with Southampton which left his side eighth in the Premier League.

Wolves sit fifth, a point better off, and are unbeaten in eight top-flight games.

Wolves boss Nuno is the favourite to replace Emery at the Emirates Stadium having taken Wolves from the Championship to Europe in two years.

"There is no doubt Nuno is one of the leading Portuguese managers today," said Sa Pinto ahead of Wolves' Europa League clash in Braga on Thursday.

"He has done an outstanding job. Firstly he took Wolves from the Championship to the Premier League.

Nuno celebrates Wolves' win against Bournemouth on Saturday

"Now he has Wolves sitting fifth in the Premier League and playing in the Europa League. So it is fair enough if other teams are interested in his services.

"I have a great friend at Arsenal as Unai Emery has been my friend for a long time.

"If Nuno goes to Arsenal I would be sad - because it means Unai would have left.

"But what we all know is all coaches need positive results and great campaigns.

"I wish Nuno good luck in future - but not tomorrow when we will be rivals."

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Group K leaders Braga are a point ahead of Wolves and both teams will qualify for the knock-out stages with a draw.

The hosts are unbeaten in 11 European matches and will set a new Portuguese record if they avoid defeat.

But Sa Pinto insisted they will not settle for a draw, despite only needing a point to reach the last 32.

"We will never play with the intention of a draw. Tomorrow is not going to be different, we will play in order to win the match," he added.

"Our goal is to qualify, if we manage to qualify in the first place it'll be perfect. If it's second, we will take it.

"The main objective is to get into the next round, either way Braga want to qualify.

"If we manage to qualify and at the same time add more records that will be perfect."