David Dein insists it would be 'folly' for the Football Association to ignore the claims of Gerard Houllier to be the next England manager.
Dein, the former Arsenal and FA vice-chairman, was the man who brought Arsene Wenger to the Gunners and was instrumental in Sven-Goran Eriksson's England appointment.
He believes Wenger is the best man for the job - but that the Arsenal manager will not leave the club and that the FA should look to another Frenchman.
Dein, speaking at the Soccerex conference in Johannesburg, said: 'Who is the best candidate? Arsene Wenger, but he won't do the job.
'In a selection process it would be folly to ignore Gerard Houllier, his ability and what he has achieved.
'He is not the technical director of the French national team for nothing.'
Dein said he would 'love' to be consulted by FA chief executive Brian Barwick in his search for Steve McClaren's successor, and that this time there should be no discussion over whether the manager should be English or foreign.
He added: 'It was no secret I favoured Luis Felipe Scolari last time, but everyone said that was heresy.
'A lot of people wanted an England manager when Sven left - now public opinion is saying just go for the best.
'Unfortunately Steve McClaren didn't work out. It would be heresy to say there is no English manager worthy of the job. I just believe you have to go for the best man whatever nationality.'
Dein insisted he had no feeling of satisfaction at having been proved right when McClaren was appointed.
He said: 'You don't employ anyone expecting them to fail and it's the biggest single choice we have to make.
'You never know until they have an opportunity.
'Sven was criticised and castigated but now his record looks very good.
'Now I want a manager who can coach, can motivate the team and can make sure that we don't just reach the finals but get to the semi-final or even final.'