Arsenal want Everton boss Ronald Koeman to replace Arsene Wenger as manager but face stiff competition from Barcelona, according to The Mirror.
The tabloid report that club chiefs view the Dutchman as the perfect replacement for the Frenchman and have been impressed with his work at both Everton and Southampton.
However, there is concern he could be tempted back to Camp Nou, following Luis Enrique’s midweek announcement that he will be stepping down as Barcelona coach when his contract expires this summer.
Koeman has been heavily linked with replacing Enrique with Jorge Sampaoli, Ernesto Valverde, Laurent Blanc and even Mauricio Pochettino and Wenger also reportedly targets for the Catalan giants.
Wenger’s future at Arsenal is currently the subject of hot debate after defeats to Liverpool, Chelsea and Bayern Munich with the Gunners now in a fight to finish in the top four.
The Frenchman has repeatedly claimed his preference is to continue at Arsenal but is yet to agree an extension with a two-year deal believed to be on the table.
Wenger has inisted he will not retire this summer when his contract expires and will be managing next season, even if he does opt to leave Arsenal after over 20 years in charge of the club.
Koeman is the latest name to be linked with replacing Wenger with Massimiliano Allegri appearing the frontrunner, although he has repeatedly sought to play down talk of a move to the Premier League.
The Dutchman has enjoyed his time in English football, since arriving from Feyenoord in 2014, and did a great job at Southampton before angering some sections of the support when he left for Everton.
The Toffees are currently seventh in the table, six points behind Arsenal, although they could close the gap on Sunday when they face Tottenham at White Hart Lane.