Former Giants defensive lineman Michael Strahan has emerged as the front runner to take the permanent spot alongside Kelly Ripa as co-host of Live with Kelly! according to

Strahan co-hosted the show nine times and is atop Ripa's list of candidates, a source told the site.

All bets are on Michael Strahan, the source said. He's funny, does well on camera and gets along really fabulously with Kelly. Michael is the top name that is seriously being thrown around right now.

Strahan has developed an on-camera chemistry with Ripa that makes him an easy fit, according to the source.

The next closest contender, singer Josh Groban, really wants the gig, but executives don't feel he would be a good fit.

The other contender, Ripa's husband Mark Consuelos, presents a unique problem.

No one wants to see such a perfect couple every morning, the source said. They're disgustingly perfect. Great together but it's not the direction the show wants to head.