Arsenal manager Wenger has led opposition to claims that referees will be told to punish every two-footed tackle with a red card.

The Frenchman fears some of the best challenges in football would become sending-off offences overnight if the reported proposals are adopted.

It was reported on Friday in the Daily Mail that referees' chief Mike Riley is to instruct officials to show a straight red card for any two-footed challenge.

However, it is understood that no change in the directives to match officials is imminent.

Professional Game Match Officials Limited, the governing body of elite referees in the English game, declined to comment.

Wenger criticised the idea, saying: "I would prefer that they red-card the bad tackles and not the good challenges as sometimes the second leg has to follow if you go down.

"It depends where you put the second leg. It is too simplified to sum it up like that."

There was further wariness over the reported proposals among Wenger's fellow Premier League managers.

PR's Hughes highlighted the need for football to retain its physical element.

"I think the danger is you take physical contact out of the game," Hughes said.

"I think that would be completely wrong. If you take that physicality out, I think it a lesser sport on the eye and in terms of participation as well.

"You have to make sure the game is not sanitised too much. I think the balance at the moment is fine but if we went too far one way and try to take tackles out of the game, then that is a road we should not be going down."

There is a brewing row over the interpretation of the laws governing two-footed tackling, which saw Manchester City defender Vincent Kompany dismissed in the FA Cup clash with Manchester United, but not Liverpool's Glen Johnson for a similar incident against City just days later.

Norwich manager Paul Lambert doubts banning all two-footed tackles is the right solution, given the bustle of the British game and the appetite for physical contact.

He said: "The public love to see it but if you are being professional about it you don't want to go down to 10 men. It will be a hard decision to ban every two-footed challenge."

Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish suggested the two-footed challenge was introduced to British football by foreign players, and suspects it will be difficult to get rid of entirely.

The former Scotland boss said: "I've never ever taken to the two-footed challenge. In my younger managerial days, we had some French players and they tackled like that.

"When I was manager at Hibernian I had Franck Sauzee, a fantastic midfielder, an international player, and he set Edinburgh alight with his phenomenal skills.

"But Franck tackled with two feet and I said, 'You don't get away with that in this country'.

"It looks bad at times, even though sometimes it is a clean take of the ball without injuring the other player.

"The big bugbear at the moment is the follow-through with the weight of your legs, that is the most dangerous part of the tackle.

"Maybe they do have to outlaw the two-footed challenge but a lot of players might struggle to adjust their game.

"I never saw it growing up as a kid. It came from the continent."

Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill would support a new policy if it leads to greater consistency in refereeing decisions.

O'Neill said: "If there is some sort of clarity about it, then that can only be good because people are a wee bit confused that some two-footed challenges are going unpunished and other ones are causing a bit of concern.

"I understand the referees having a bit of a problem over it, but in truth, if you are lunging in two-footed and your two feet are off of the ground, there's a fair chance if you come into contact with an opponent's ankle, you are going to cause problems.

"You may always get some sort of an example where you think that shouldn't be the case, but if you are going to run with it, I think the best thing to do is outlaw it and then we will be okay."

Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas questioned whether the proposed change would eliminate inconsistent refereeing on two-footed tackles.

"It's a position that's understandable given recent events, but good decision-making from the refs should always be there," he said.

"The law is set as if the ref cannot decide accordingly from what they see. It'll be difficult for them to assess it.

"There'll be differences of criteria in what is applied."