Cape Town - Arsenal have reportedly opened discussions with Mikel Arteta regarding the possibility of taking over as their next permanent manager.
Arsenal placed former midfielder Freddie Ljungberg in caretaker charge after sacking Emery in November but Arteta is the man they want long term.
Ljungberg has spectacularly failed his audition, winning just one of his five games in charge, and fans have made it clear they don't want the Swede to get the job.
In fairness, he hasn't been given much of a helping hand from the board after Emery took his coaching staff with him.
Arteta was one of the first names to be linked with the vacancy, despite not previously holding any experience as a head coach.
The Spaniard has been learning the ropes as an assistant to Pep Guardiola at Manchester City since calling time on his playing career with Arsenal in 2016.
He became a fans' favourite at the Emirates, having joined from Everton in 2011, earning the captaincy and leaving with 149 appearances under his belt.
Reports emerged on Monday suggesting Arsenal chief executive Vinai Venkatesham travelled to the north-west to meet with Arteta.
Pictures have been circulating in the media purporting to show the Gunners chief leaving Arteta's home in the early hours on Monday morning after a two-hour talk.
The former Real Sociedad midfielder has previously stated a desire to step out on his own. However, Guardiola recently claimed his right-hand man wouldn't be moving on until at least the end of the current season.
It appears after Arsenal's latest defeat, a 3-0 loss to City on Sunday, the club are now looking to speed up the process of getting in a new manager.
Arteta's appointment would be a risky one due to his lack of experience although he would enjoy a honeymoon period until the end of this term to get his philosophy in place.
Arsenal currently sit ninth in the Premier League, seven points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea, and bridging that gap would be the primary aim.
- TeamTalk Media