Ex-Valencia and Villarreal coach Marcelino Garcia Toral has met with Arsenal officials over the vacant permanent manager’s role at Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners are on the lookout for a new manager after sacking Unai Emery at the end of November, following a dismal run of results across all competitions.
Emery’s assistant Freddie Ljungberg has been charged with overseeing first-team preparations on an interim basis while the club searches for their next boss, with a number of high profile candidates thought to be in the running.
Marcelino is considered to be one of the top contenders, as he looks for his first role since being dismissed by Valencia back in September.
The Spaniard spent two years at the Mestalla, masterminding a superb Copa del Rey triumph last season which saw his side beat La Liga champions Barca in the final.
According to ESPN, Marcelino is now very keen on the Arsenal job after holding talks with club officials in London this week, but he thinks his Spanish heritage could count against him after Emery’s ill-fated reign.
Marcelino is now the frontrunner to succeed his fellow countryman at Emirates Stadium, but it is understood that the Gunners want to give Ljungberg the chance to prove himself before they make a final decision.
ESPN reports that Marcelino would say yes if offered the chance to take over at Arsenal, having watched the team in action on several occasions this season.
It seems that the 54-year-old will have to wait to find out if he has been successful, with Ljungberg set to continue in charge throughout the remainder of the festive period.
The Swede picked up his first win at the helm on Monday night as Arsenal beat West Ham 3-1 at the London Stadium to move up to ninth in the Premier League table.