Arsenal are being heavily linked with former Valencia coach Marcelino in their ongoing search for a new manager after it was reported that the Spaniard travelled to London on Sunday.

Interim boss Freddie Ljungberg has been in charge of the Gunners since Unai Emery was sacked last month, but their fortunes haven't changed and the club is looking to appoint a permanent successor.

According to Spanish outlet Superdeporte, Marcelino boarded a British Airways flight on Sunday morning bound for London, even giving the flight number BA409.

A host of names have been linked with the vacant job. However, Brendan Rodgers has recently agreed a new contract with Leicester, while it is expected that Nuno Espirito Santo will be too difficult to break out of his current position at Wolves.

Indeed, reported budgetary constraints may limit Arsenal’s choices when it comes to finding their next manager. Even though the likes of Mauricio Pochettino and Massimiliano Allegri are out of work since leaving Tottenham and Juventus respectively, their wage demands are expected to be far higher than the £4m annual salary that Emery was earning in north London.

Allegri also ​recently ruled himself out of taking a job before the summer as he is currently enjoying a year off, which he insists was always his plan when he left Juventus.

Massimiliano Allegri

It has been suggested that if head of football Raul Sanllehi was able to appoint his ‘first choice’, the new Arsenal manager would be Luis Enrique. But with the ex-Barcelona coach recently returning to his position with the Spanish national team, that isn’t a viable pursuit.

That is why there may be merit in the growing rumours about Marcelino. The 54-year-old, who guided Valencia to Copa del Rey success last season, having also overseen successive Champions League qualifications, was sacked in September and so is currently available.

Marcelino Garcia Toral

There is nothing concrete to say that his trip to London is related to the Arsenal job, but the timing amid existing links mean it is certainly very curious.

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