ARSENAL have a potential candidate lined-up in case talks with Arsene Wenger fail before the end of his contract.
The club hierarchy have reportedly highlighted Juventus legend Antonio Conte as the man who could lead the team into a new era if Wenger decides to pull the curtain down on his 17-year-tenure as manager.
Wenger put talks on hold over a new deal with the Gunners during the summer and has commented since that he will judge whether he deserves to lead the club beyond 2014.
"We are in no hurry," said Wenger.
"We are in September and my contract finishes in June, there is a long way to go.
"There is no need to plan (any talks). I have said many times I want to do well with this club and in the end I will sit down and think 'how well have I done with the team I have had?' That has to be sufficient for me to decide yes or no.
"One of the main judgments you can have about a manager is how well he does with his team."
And according to Italian publication Sports Media Net, Conte, who has managed the Old Lady for two seasons, is the man the Arsenal board believe could break the north London club's cycle of trophy-less seasons.
While Conte is thought to be open to a move to the Premier League in the near future, any chance of keeping Wenger's services after a trophy winning season, would seem the most likely outcome.