Arsenal have reportedly shortlisted Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez as a potential replacement for Arsene Wenger, according to The Mirror.
The Spaniard’s team are currently top of the Championship and aiming to return to the Premier League at the first attempt after relegation last season.
However, the report claims the Gunners could move for the former Real Madrid boss if Wenger opts to step down in the summer.
Benitez would reportedly ask Thierry Henry to join him at Arsenal and be part of the coaching staff.
The report also claims that the other candidates in contention are Leonardo Jardim, Thomas Tuchel and Barcelona’s Luis Enrique.
Speculation over Wenger’s future has increased following the defeats to Watford and Chelsea although he insisted after Saturday’s win over Hull that he was “not ready to rest yet”.
Earlier reports had claimed Tuchel was heading Arsenal’s shortlist with Massimiliano Allegri and Roger Schmidt also contenders and there are certainly several names being throw around currently.
Benitez was widely expected to leave St James’ Park after the club’s relegation but chose to stay and has guided them to the top of the table and looking odds on to come straight back up.
However, he does have a somewhat stained relationship with club owner Mike Ashley, having previously admitted he does not speak directly to the 52-year-old and would surely be tempted by the prospect of taking over Arsenal.