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Rafa Benítez joins candidate list to replace Wenger at Arsenal

English press claim that Arsenal's board of directors have already approved the Spaniard as one of the four candidates. Thierry Henry is in line for the assistant coach role. Arsenal-Chelsea live

Rafa Benítez joins candidate list to replace Wenger at Arsenal

Bayern-Arsenal live

Longest-serving manager

Arsenal fans' patience with Arsène Wenger has run out. The French manager seemed to be on course to sign a two-year contract extension after 21 seasons in charge of the Gunners, but the club's board of directors have reached the conclusion that his credit has run out.

In England, the media are placing their bets as to who could succeed Wenger and today, The Mirror report that Rafa Benítez has been approved by the club's directors as one of the four possible substitutes to take on the Arsenal job this summer. The other candidates are Luis Enrique, Thomas Tuchel and Leonardo Jardim.

Arsène Wenger pictured during the weekend match against Hull City
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Arsène Wenger pictured during the weekend match against Hull CityGLYN KIRKAFP

Four candidates

Barça coach Luis Enrique has not said anything about his future but in theory, he will negotaite new  terms and renew with the Catalans, but first he prefers to wait and see how the team's season turns out. As for Tuchel, Borussia Dortmund categorically stated at the weekend that no one has been in touch with them and they are confident he will see out the remaining year on his contract. Out of the four, Jardim is one of the strong favourites. He has been linked with a move to United Arab Emirates and the excellent work he has done this season with Monaco makes him a prime candidate.

Well respected

Benítez is well respected in England and even now is well loved for the success he achieved at Liverpool. He is enjoying a similar run of success with Newcastle, with whom he vowed to stay after the team was relegated last season. The Magpies currently top the Championship table - seven points clear of the Play Off positions and they remain on course to return to the Premier League next season.

Benítez is known for his loyalty and said that his rebuilding project at Newcastle is a long-term one. He signed a three-year contract with the club last May which he may well want to honour. But someone who could return to Arsenal when Wenger leave is legendary striker Thierry Henry who is currently Roberto Martínez's assistant with the Belgium national team. He is in line to return in the same role for his former club.


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