Rafael Benitez
Rafael Benitez, 56, took over as manager of Newcastle United in March 2016 Getty Images

Arsenal have put Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez on a managerial shortlist in anticipation of Arsene Wenger's departure at the end of the season, according to reports.

The Daily Mirror claims Benitez is one of four names identified by the Arsenal hierarchy as suitable for the top job at the Emirates Stadium.

Benitez has impressed at Newcastle in the Championship this season, with the Magpies currently sitting top of the table with a one-point lead over Brighton.

He has experience working in the Premier League, having spent six years at Liverpool – where he won one Champions League and one FA Cup – and one season at Chelsea.

The Mirror claims Benitez will ask former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry to join his coaching staff if he succeeds Wenger at the Emirates.

However, the Spaniard will face competition for the job from Borussia Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel, Barcelona's Luis Enrique and Monaco's Leonardo Jardim.

Arsenal boss Wenger, 67, has been under pressure after back-to-back defeats against Watford and Chelsea in the Premier League undermined the Gunners' title challenge.

His contract with the club comes to an end in the summer, with former Arsenal striker Ian Wright telling the BBC that he felt the Frenchman could decide to walk away at the end of the season.

"He looks tired. I feel he will go at the end of the season," he said.

"We were at a question and answer session and the way he was speaking and his demeanour... it's my opinion. I could be wrong.

"I still think he has some massive decisions to make and think it could be his last season."

But Wenger insisted after Arsenal's 2-0 win over Hull City on 11 February that he had not yet made a decision about his future.

"I focus on what is important: winning football games and getting the team to perform. The rest, I cannot influence," the 67-year-old was reported as saying.

"I have big respect for this country and this club, and I am grateful because I have worked here for 20 years.

"My job is to make these people happy and when I don't do that I feel guilty – that's why it's important for us to win."