They've found a loophole

There has been a twist in the race to replace Mario Draghi has head of the ECB.

Most ECB-watchers thought European law prohibited members of the executive board rising to President but the WSJ reports that top officials recently received legal advice that Benoit Coeure, could be elevated to president via a loophole.

Weidmann is seen as a prohibitive favorite for the job but that his opponents -- and perhaps current ECB leaders -- would be searching for a loophole to put someone else in the job shows that some parties are deeply against him getting the top job.

"Governments pick the ECB's president, and the decision will likely involve an elaborate compromise over other top European Union jobs, including the head of the bloc's executive. EU officials say they believe Germany has a strong claim on the top ECB job, partly because a German has never held it," the WSJ reports.

The friction may be partly Weidmann's own doing. He broke with the ECB on several key policies, including QE and even argued in German court against it. That's anathema to the ECB practice of consensus.

The decision will be made in a year and the WSJ says that other potential candidates include Klaas Knot, the Dutch central banker; Erkki Liikanen, who retires this month as Finland's top central banker; and Irish central bank Gov. Phillip Lane. Another possibility is France's central bank governor, François Villeroy de Galhau, who has family ties to Germany and speaks good German.